Mass spectrometry-based proteomic profiling of lung cancer.


In an effort to further our understanding of lung cancer biology and to identify new candidate biomarkers to be used in the management of lung cancer, we need to probe these tissues and biological fluids with tools that address the biology of lung cancer directly at the protein level. Proteins are responsible of the function and phenotype of cells. Cancer cells express proteins that distinguish them from normal cells. Proteomics is defined as the study of the proteome, the complete set of proteins produced by a species, using the technologies of large-scale protein separation and identification. As a result, new technologies are being developed to allow the rapid and systematic analysis of thousands of proteins. The analytical advantages of mass spectrometry (MS), including sensitivity and high-throughput, promise to make it a mainstay of novel biomarker discovery to differentiate cancer from normal cells and to predict individuals likely to develop or recur with lung cancer. In this review, we summarize the progress made in clinical proteomics as it applies to the management of lung cancer. We will focus our discussion on how MS approaches may advance the areas of early detection, response to therapy, and prognostic evaluation.