Table of Contents
International Journal of Proteomics
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 125858, 15 pages
Review Article

Serum Biomarkers Identification by Mass Spectrometry in High-Mortality Tumors

Department of Biotechnological and Applied Clinical Sciences, University of L'Aquila, Via Vetoio Coppito 2, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy

Received 10 August 2012; Revised 16 November 2012; Accepted 11 December 2012

Academic Editor: Visith Thongboonkerd

Copyright © 2013 Alessandra Tessitore et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cancer affects millions of people worldwide. Tumor mortality is substantially due to diagnosis at stages that are too late for therapies to be effective. Advances in screening methods have improved the early diagnosis, prognosis, and survival for some cancers. Several validated biomarkers are currently used to diagnose and monitor the progression of cancer, but none of them shows adequate specificity, sensitivity, and predictive value for population screening. So, there is an urgent need to isolate novel sensitive, specific biomarkers to detect the disease early and improve prognosis, especially in high-mortality tumors. Proteomic techniques are powerful tools to help in diagnosis and monitoring of treatment and progression of the disease. During the last decade, mass spectrometry has assumed a key role in most of the proteomic analyses that are focused on identifying cancer biomarkers in human serum, making it possible to identify and characterize at the molecular level many proteins or peptides differentially expressed. In this paper we summarize the results of mass spectrometry serum profiling and biomarker identification in high mortality tumors, such as ovarian, liver, lung, and pancreatic cancer.