Application of proteomics in ovarian cancer: which sample should be used?

Gynecol Oncol. 2009 Dec;115(3):497-503. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2009.09.005. Epub 2009 Oct 6.


Objective: In the last decade several studies have been published using proteomics to unravel molecular pathways and to find biomarkers which can be used for diagnosis and/or prognostication in ovarian cancer. This review gives an overview of proteomic studies performed in ovarian cancer focusing on the nature of samples that have been used.

Methods: Recent literature regarding the role of proteomic studies in ovarian cancer has been reviewed.

Results: Most studies have focused on finding biomarkers for early diagnosis of ovarian cancer using blood samples though proteins identified until now are mainly acute phase reactants. Studies regarding platinum sensitivity have only been performed on cell culture models and need confirmation in tissue samples. Proteomic studies using ovarian cancer tissue are sparse and mostly contain a low number of samples.

Conclusion: To date no biomarkers for early diagnosis or prognostication in ovarian cancer have been found using proteomics. We speculate that it would be interesting to investigate the tissue proteome in an attempt to overcome acute phase reactants and to facilitate the discovery of real tumor-specific biomarkers instead of the identification of secondary protein changes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / blood
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proteomics / methods*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor