The early diagnosis of cancer at a curable stage is crucial for the successful treatment of this disease. Most of the currently used tumor assays appear too late and rely on single biomarkers with high false-negative and/or falsepositive rates. As an additional burden for the patient, the traditional assays often require biopsy material instead of less invasively taken samples like serum. With the hope for more reliable DNA- and RNA-based screening tools, the research activities of the past 20 years have focused on the genomic characteristics of cancer cells. But, up to now, the output from this strategy has been disappointingly low and the disillusionment is paired with a return to proteins as the real key players in all physiological and pathological processes. Meanwhile, comparative protein profiling is generally acknowledged as a promising way for the detection of specific and predictive protein patterns reflecting certain stages of cancer without dependency on single markers. To meet the new technological demands, the ProteinChip® Biomarker System was developed for the Expression Difference Mapping™ - analysis of several hundreds of samples per day on a single, uncomplicated platform; with software support for the construction of multi-marker predictive models. The Interaction Discovery Mapping - platform is introduced as the next methodical step for investigations about protein binding partners of possible importance in diagnosis and therapy. This review summarizes the current state in cancer diagnosis, provides an introduction into the ProteinChip technology, and gives an update on publications and research collaborations in SELDI-based tumor marker discovery.
Keywords: seldi, tumor marker, protein profiling, biomarker discovery, biomarker pattern, proteomics, proteinchip biomarker system
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