Cancer biomarker discovery for cholangiocarcinoma: the high-throughput approaches

J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Sci. 2014 Jun;21(6):388-96. doi: 10.1002/jhbp.68. Epub 2014 Feb 12.


Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is difficult to diagnose at an early stage and most tumors are detected at late stage where surgery or other therapy is ineffective. Many advanced techniques are applied to diagnose CCA; however, most are expensive and have varying degrees of accuracy. A less invasive and simpler procedure such as serum markers would be of substantial clinical benefit for diagnosis, monitoring, and predicting outcome for CCA patients. Recent advances in "Omics" technologies offer remarkable opportunities for establishment of biomarker-related to diseases. In this review, the potential biomarkers obtained from proteomics and glycomic studies are evaluated. Several protein markers were discovered from patient specimen, using two dimensional-differential gel electrophoresis couple with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (2D-DIGE/LC-MS-MS), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI)-TOF-MS and capillary electrophoresis (CE)-MS, etc. Newly reported CCA-associated glyco-biomarkers were identified using lectin-assisted, monoclonal antibody-assisted or specific-target strategies. The combination between carbohydrate binding-lectin and core protein-binding mAb significantly increased the values for detection of the glyco-biomarkers for CCA. Searching for specific and sensitive molecular markers to be used for population screening is worth being evaluated. This could lead to earlier diagnosis and improve outcome. Further investigation of those biomarker functions is also of value in order to better understand the tumor biology and use them as targets for future therapeutic agents.

Keywords: Biomarkers · Gene profiles · Molecular signature · Proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / blood*
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / blood*
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proteomics
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / methods
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods


  • Biomarkers, Tumor