Probably no topic has generated more excitement in the world of proteomics than the search for biomarkers. This excitement has been generated by two realities: the constant need for better biomarkers that can be used for disease diagnosis and prognosis, and the recent developments in proteomic technologies that are capable of scanning the individual proteins within varying complex clinical samples. Ideally a biomarker would be assayable from a noninvasively collected sample, therefore, much of the focus in proteomics has been on the analysis of biofluids such as serum, plasma, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, lymph, etc. While the discovery of biomarkers has been elusive, there have been many advances made in the understanding of the proteome content of various biofluids, and in the technologies used for their analysis, that continues to point the research community toward new methods for achieving the ultimate goal of identifying novel disease-specific biomarkers. In this review, we will describe and discuss many of the proteomic approaches taken in an attempt to find novel biomarkers in serum, plasma, and lymph.
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