A protein profiling methodology under development by Physiotarget® to assist the chemotherapy of solid tumors

What is Terafen®?

–  Terafen® is a registered trademark of Physiotarget® for a theranostic strategy of solid tumors. Theranostic means the diagnosis to assist the therapy.

– The purpose of Terafen® is to identify the proteins with a large rate of connectivity (hubs) with their neighbors within the signaling subnetwork of up-regulated genes.

– According to Barabasi’s mathematical demonstration1, these hubs’ targeting disrupts a scale-free network, which corresponds to a biological cell’s signaling network.

– Barabasi’s concept has been operationally translated, and in vitro validated, into a theranostic strategy through RNA next-generation sequencing.

 – Terafen® revealed that tumors are highly personalized at the molecular level, which justifies a personalized oncology approach of theranostics.

– Terafen® also revealed that the more aggressive the tumor, the greater the number of protein targets to be inhibited.

What Terafen® is not?

– Terafen® is not a kit for mutation and tumor suppressor genes diagnosis.

– Mutation diagnosis is a genotyping activity with an indirect correlation, based on statistical data, with cancer prognosis and chemotherapy indication.

– Terafen® performs the phenotyping of the malignant protein profile, with particular consideration for its up-regulated hubs. In that sense, the Terafen®’s diagnosis relates closely to the tumor’s molecular phenotype, which itself is a consequence of the genomic anomalies induced by the malignant process.

What is the difference between Terafen® and other methods?

– Doctors can use Terafen® for the theranostics of any solid tumors. The availability of approved drugs is the only limit for the information it releases for the target under consideration. However, when an approved drug is unavailable for a given target, Terafen® targets other proteins in the priority list. Moreover, Terafen® is not incompatible with well-accepted treatment protocols and can be used to complement cytotoxic drugs with a personalized approach, the purpose being to reduce overall treatment toxicity and increase patient’s benefit as much as possible.

– Because Terafen® addresses the disease phenotype of tumors rather than their genotype, the information it releases to the Physician is complementary to mutation mapping and easier to translate in terms of chemotherapy.

When is the use of Terafen® indicated?

– When a tumor cannot be associated with treatment guidelines or when the standard of care remains controversial, such as in singular tumor cases.

– When treatment possibilities are scarce, such as in fast-growing tumors.

– When treatment is refractory or in case of metastases.


  1. Albert, R., Jeong, H., and Barabási, A. (2000). Error and attack tolerance of complex networks. Nature 406, 378–382. doi:10.1038/35019019