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Mol Cell Proteomics. 2009 Sep;8(9):2023-33. doi: 10.1074/mcp.R800016-MCP200. Epub 2009 May 18.

MALDI imaging mass spectrometry: state of the art technology in clinical proteomics.

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MALDI Imaging Team, Laboratoire de Neuroimmunologie des Annélides, IFR 147, CNR-FRE 2933, University of Lille1, 59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.


A decade after its inception, MALDI imaging mass spectrometry has become a unique technique in the proteomics arsenal for biomarker hunting in a variety of diseases. At this stage of development, it is important to ask whether we can consider this technique to be sufficiently developed for routine use in a clinical setting or an indispensable technology used in translational research. In this report, we consider the contributions of MALDI imaging mass spectrometry and profiling technologies to clinical studies. In addition, we outline new directions that are required to align these technologies with the objectives of clinical proteomics, including: 1) diagnosis based on profile signatures that complement histopathology, 2) early detection of disease, 3) selection of therapeutic combinations based on the individual patient's entire disease-specific protein network, 4) real time assessment of therapeutic efficacy and toxicity, 5) rational redirection of therapy based on changes in the diseased protein network that are associated with drug resistance, and 6) combinatorial therapy in which the signaling pathway itself is viewed as the target rather than any single "node" in the pathway.

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