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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2010 Jun;48(6):855-61. doi: 10.1515/CCLM.2010.138.

Potential biomarkers for esophageal carcinoma detected by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

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  • 1Research Center, Fourth Hospital of Hebei Medical University and Hebei Cancer Institute, Shijiazhuang, PR China.



Currently, no satisfactory biomarkers are available to screen for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). The goal of this study was to find biomarkers and establish a serum protein fingerprint model for early diagnosis of ESCC using the ClinProt protocol of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS).


Serum samples were collected from 62 patients with ESCC, nine patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) and 38 healthy individuals. Proteomic spectra of mass to charge ratio (m/z) were generated following the application of plasma to weak cationic-exchanger magnetic beads (WCX-MB). The spectral data were analyzed using a support vector machine, and potential biomarkers were chosen for system training and used to construct diagnostic models.


Three differential patterns were established using MALDI-TOF MS. Pattern 1, consisting of 11 protein peaks, separated ESCC patients from the healthy individuals with a sensitivity of 90.0% and a specificity of 88.4%. Pattern 2, consisting of eight protein peaks, separated ESCC in stage I and stage II from stage III and stage IV with a sensitivity of 92.9% and a specificity of 82.3%. Pattern 3, consisting of seven protein peaks, separated ESCC from EA with a sensitivity of 91.3% and a specificity of 80.0%.


These results suggested that MALDI-TOF MS combined with MB separation yields significantly higher sensitivity and specificity for the detection of serum protein in patients with ESCC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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