The extraordinary developments made in proteomic technologies in the past decade have enabled investigators to consider designing studies to search for diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers by scanning complex proteome samples using unbiased methods. The major technology driving these studies is mass spectrometry (MS). The basic premises of most biomarker discovery studies is to use the high data-gathering capabilities of MS to compare biological samples obtained from healthy and disease-afflicted patients and identify proteins that are differentially abundant between the two specimen. To meet the need to compare the abundance of proteins in different samples, a number of quantitative approaches have been developed. In this article, many of these will be described with an emphasis on their advantageous and disadvantageous for the discovery of clinically useful biomarkers. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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