Individualizing cancer therapy for molecular targeted inhibitors requires a new class of molecular profiling technology that can map the functional state of the cancer cell signal pathways containing the drug targets. Reverse phase protein microarrays (RPMA) are a technology platform designed for quantitative, multiplexed analysis of specific phosphorylated, cleaved, or total (phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated) forms of cellular proteins from a limited amount of sample. This class of microarray can be used to interrogate tissue samples, cells, serum, or body fluids. RPMA were previously a research tool; now this technology has graduated to use in research clinical trials with clinical grade sensitivity and precision. In this review we describe the application of RPMA for multiplexed signal pathway analysis in therapeutic monitoring, biomarker discovery, and evaluation of pharmaceutical targets, and conclude with a summary of the technical aspects of RPMA construction and analysis.
Copyright © 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.