Clinical potential of proteomics in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer

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The need for specific and sensitive markers of ovarian cancer is critical. Finding a sensitive and specific test for its detection has an important public health impact. Currently, there are no effective screening options available for patients with ovarian cancer. CA-125, the most widely used biomarker for ovarian cancer, does not have a high positive predictive value and it is only effective when used in combination with other diagnostic tests. However, pathologic changes taking place within the ovary may be reflected in biomarker patterns in the serum. Combination of mass spectra generated by new proteomic technologies, such as surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (SELDI-TOF) and artificial-intelligence-based informatic algorithms, have been used to discover a small set of key protein values and discriminate normal from ovarian cancer patients. Serum proteomic pattern analysis might be applied ultimately in medical screening clinics, as a supplement to the diagnostic work-up and evaluation.

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