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Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2014:e504-10. doi: 10.14694/EdBook_AM.2014.34.e504.

Mass spectrometry-based proteomics: from cancer biology to protein biomarkers, drug targets, and clinical applications.

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From the Department of Medical Oncology, VUmc-Cancer Center Amsterdam, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Proteomics is optimally suited to bridge the gap between genomic information on the one hand and biologic functions and disease phenotypes at the other, since it studies the expression and/or post-translational modification (especially phosphorylation) of proteins--the major cellular players bringing about cellular functions--at a global level in biologic specimens. Mass spectrometry technology and (bio)informatic tools have matured to the extent that they can provide high-throughput, comprehensive, and quantitative protein inventories of cells, tissues, and biofluids in clinical samples at low level. In this article, we focus on next-generation proteomics employing nanoliquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry for in-depth (phospho)protein profiling of tumor tissues and (proximal) biofluids, with a focus on studies employing clinical material. In addition, we highlight emerging proteogenomic approaches for the identification of tumor-specific protein variants, and targeted multiplex mass spectrometry strategies for large-scale biomarker validation. Below we provide a discussion of recent progress, some research highlights, and challenges that remain for clinical translation of proteomic discoveries.

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