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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Feb 16;97(4):310-4.

Importance of communication between producers and consumers of publicly available experimental data.

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FDA-NCI Clinical Proteomics Program, Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, CCR, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The application of mass spectrometry to discover new cancer biomarkers is in its infancy. Many of these new markers are low-abundance proteins that exist as fragments associated with carrier proteins. Although reproducibility is key to the use of mass spectrometry for ion fingerprint analysis, the scientific community has yet to establish a common platform or standardized operating procedures that are necessary for intra- and inter-laboratory comparison. In an effort to assist others who are perfecting mass spectrometry platforms for profiling, ongoing experimental data were posted for public consumption. An unintended consequence of unrestricted access to experimental data is the risk of inappropriate conclusions drawn and publicly disseminated that could have been avoided by communication between the producers and consumers of the data. Such disputes, however, should not divert us from the validation of this promising new approach.

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