Hannah Bateson, Saira Saleem, Paul M. Loadman and Chris W. Sutton
J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. (2011), 64 (3), 197-206

Cancer significantly affects millions of people worldwide. It is possible to use proteomic techniques to aid in detection, monitoring of treatment and progression, as well as gaining an increased understanding of cancer. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation (MALDI) mass spectrometry can be utilised to detect the presence of proteins and peptides within various samples from the body, including blood, biological fluids and tumour tissue. This review aims to introduce MALDI mass spectrometry and discuss a range of applications in the field of cancer research, from quantitative to qualitative methods. Also described is MALDI imaging mass spectrometry which differs from typical sample preparation methods, as analytes are ionised directly from the tissue. Finally, presented is a brief summary of the status of biomarker discovery using blood/serum and biological fluids samples, and the implications in the clinic.




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