Proteomic Biomarker Discovery: It's More Than Just Mass Spectrometry
The previous decade witnessed an enormous number of studies with the singular goal of identifying protein biomarkers for diseases such as cancer. A large majority of these studies have focused on comparative studies of serum or plasma obtained from disease-affected and control patients. In these studies, proteins identified in the samples using MS were compared with the hope that differences between samples would reveal useful biomarkers. Unfortunately, finding clinically relevant biomarkers has often been elusive and frustrating. As with most research efforts, both successes and failures, much has been learned about what strategies work and which do not. Part of the problem can be attributed to underestimating the effort required to discover novel biomarkers and depending too heavily on MS analysis of peripheral blood samples. Fortunately, the future for biomarker discovery still appears bright. MS technology continues to increase in sensitivity, throughput, and accuracy while novel types of samples and clever experimental designs coupled with innovative bioinformatics will make this vision of routine biomarker discovery a reality. To achieve ultimate success is going to require concomitant application of a number of different technologies, all providing the information necessary for discovering and validating clinically useful biomarkers.
Biomarkers, mass spectrometry, peptide mapping, proteomics
Blonder, Josip; Issaq, Haleem J.; and Veenstra, Timothy D., "Proteomic Biomarker Discovery: It's More Than Just Mass Spectrometry" (2011). Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications. 244.