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Proteomics Clin Appl. 2013 Dec;7(11-12):779-93. doi: 10.1002/prca.201300038.

Clinical applications of capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry in biomarker discovery: Focus on Bladder Cancer.

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Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens, Biotechnology Division, Athens, Greece; Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


A major requirement in the application of proteins as clinical biomarkers is that they provide a highly sensitive and specific result in disease assessment. Since single biomarkers are generally of limited accuracy, a group or panel of well characterized biomarkers appears appropriate, providing a more robust and sensitive mass-spectrometry-based analytical platform. Capillary electrophoresis coupled to MS has been successfully used in biomarker discovery and application, as it enables the selective detection of peptides and small proteins, combining the high separation capacity of CE with the advanced sensitivity of MS. CE-MS allows the characterization of highly complex samples (such as urine, plasma and other biofluids) in a consistent and reproducible way. It has a range of applications, many focusing especially in studies on urinary peptide biomarkers in kidney and cardiovascular diseases. Another major field of interest has been malignancy of the genitourinary system. In the first part of this review we cover technical aspects and performance characteristics of CE-MS, with special focus on the requirements for biomarker discovery and clinical application. In the second part, we review the potential and development of CE-MS in the management of genitourinary cancers, especially bladder cancer (BCa). CE-MS has been employed in several studies aimed at discovering biomarkers for BCa that may be useful in diagnosis, monitoring for recurrence, and prediction of the risk for the muscle-invasive stage. In the last part of the review we discuss current challenges and provide an outlook for ongoing and possible future developments.


Biomarkers; CE-MS; bladder cancer

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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