Hsp70—A Universal Biomarker for Predicting Therapeutic Failure in Human Female Cancers and a Target for CTC Isolation in Advanced Cancers

Alexia Xanthopoulos, Ann Kathrin Samt, Christiane Guder, Nicholas Taylor, Erika Roberts, Hannah Herf, Verena Messner, Anskar Trill, Katharina Larissa Kreszentia Holzmann, Marion Kiechle, Vanadin Seifert-Klauss, Sebastian Zschaeck, Imke Schatka, Robert Tauber, Robert Schmidt, Katrin Enste, Alan Graham Pockley, Dominik Lobinger, Gabriele Multhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is frequently overexpressed in many different tumor types. However, Hsp70 has also been shown to be selectively presented on the plasma membrane of tumor cells, but not normal cells, and this membrane form of Hsp70 (mHsp70) could be considered a universal tumor biomarker. Since viable, mHsp70-positive tumor cells actively release Hsp70 in lipid micro-vesicles, we investigated the utility of Hsp70 in circulation as a universal tumor biomarker and its potential as an early predictive marker of therapeutic failure. We have also evaluated mHsp70 as a target for the isolation and enumeration of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patients with different tumor entities. Circulating vesicular Hsp70 levels were measured in the peripheral blood of tumor patients with the compHsp70 ELISA. CTCs were isolated using cmHsp70.1 and EpCAM monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based bead approaches and characterized by immunohistochemistry using cytokeratin and CD45-specific antibodies. In two out of 35 patients exhibiting therapeutic failure two years after initial diagnosis of non-metastatic breast cancer, progressively increasing levels of circulating Hsp70 had already been observed during therapy, whereas levels in patients without subsequent recurrence remained unaltered. With regards to CTC isolation from patients with different tumors, an Hsp70 mAb-based selection system appears superior to an EpCAM mAb-based approach. Extracellular and mHsp70 can therefore serve as a predictive biomarker for therapeutic failure in early-stage tumors and as a target for the isolation of CTCs in various tumor diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2276
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Hsp70
  • breast cancer
  • circulating tumor cells
  • endometrial cancer
  • head and neck cancer
  • liquid biopsy
  • lung cancer
  • prostate cancer
  • tumor biomarker


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