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Int J Cancer. 2008 Nov 1;123(9):2007-12. doi: 10.1002/ijc.23844.

Tissue culture-based breast cancer biomarker discovery platform.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Current cancer biomarkers suffer from low diagnostic sensitivity and specificity and have not yet made a major impact on reducing cancer burden. Proteomic methods based on mass spectrometry have matured significantly over the past few years and hold promise to deliver candidate markers for diagnosis, prognosis or monitoring therapeutic response. Because of the complex nature of biological fluids such as plasma, biomarker discovery efforts using proteomics have not as yet delivered any novel tumor markers. Recently, there has been a rise in the number of publications utilizing a cell culture-based model of cancer to identify novel candidate tumor markers. The secretome of cancer cell lines constitutes an important class of proteins that can act locally and systemically in the body. Secreted proteins, in addition to serving as serological markers, play a central role in physiology and pathophysiology. In this review, we focus on the proteomics of breast cancer and the different strategies to mine for biomarkers, with particular emphasis on a cell culture-based model developed in our laboratory.

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