Proteomic technologies have experienced major improvements in recent years. Such advances have facilitated the discovery of potential tumor markers with improved sensitivities and specificities for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment monitoring of cancer patients. This review will focus on four state-of-the-art proteomic technologies, namely 2D difference gel electrophoresis, MALDI imaging mass spectrometry, electron transfer dissociation mass spectrometry and reverse-phase protein array. The major advancements these techniques have brought about and examples of their applications in cancer biomarker discovery will be presented in this review, so that readers can appreciate the immense progress in proteomic technologies from 1997 to 2008. Finally, a summary will be presented that discusses current hurdles faced by proteomic researchers, such as the wide dynamic range of protein abundance, standardization of protocols and validation of cancer biomarkers, and a 5-year view of potential solutions to such problems will be provided.
- 2D difference gel electrophoresis
- Cancer biomarker
- Electron transfer dissociation
- MALDI imaging mass spectrometry
- Reverse-phase protein array
- Molecular Biology