BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death. Current clinical practice in colorectal cancer screening (fecal occult blood test, FOBT; colonoscopy) has contributed to a reduction of mortality. However, despite these screening programs, about 70% of carcinomas are detected at advanced tumor stages (UICC III/IV) presenting poor patient prognosis. Thus, innovative tools and methodologies for early cancer detection can directly result in improving patient survival rates.
PATIENTS/METHODS: Biomedical research has advanced rapidly in recent years with the availability of technologies such as global gene and protein expression profiling. Comprehensive tumor profiling has become a field of intensive research aiming at identifying biomarkers relevant for improved diagnostics and therapeutics.
RESULTS: In this paper, we report a comprehensive review of genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic approaches for biomarker identification in tissue and blood with a main emphasis on two-dimensional gel-electrophoresis (2-DE) and mass spectrometry analyses.
CONCLUSION: Proteomics-based technologies enable to distinguish the healthy patient from the tumor patient with high sensitivity and specificity and could greatly improve common classification systems and diagnostics. However, this progress has not yet been transferred from bench to bedside but could open the door to a more accurate and target specific personalized medicine with improved patient survival.