Toward improvement of screening through mass spectrometry-based proteomics: ovarian cancer as a case study

Int J Mass Spectrom. 2021 Nov;469:116679. doi: 10.1016/j.ijms.2021.116679. Epub 2021 Aug 4.


Ovarian cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths affecting United States women. Early-stage detection of ovarian cancer has been linked to increased survival, however, current screening methods, such as biomarker testing, have proven to be ineffective in doing so. Therefore, further developments are necessary to be able to achieve positive patient prognosis. Ongoing efforts are being made in biomarker discovery towards clinical applications in screening for early-stage ovarian cancer. In this perspective, we discuss and provide examples for several workflows employing mass spectrometry-based proteomics towards protein biomarker discovery and characterization in the context of ovarian cancer; workflows include protein identification and characterization as well as intact protein profiling. We also discuss the opportunities to merge these workflows for a multiplexed approach for biomarkers. Lastly, we provide our insight as to future developments that may serve to enhance biomarker discovery workflows while also considering translational potential.