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Proteomics in Melanoma Biomarker Discovery: Great Potential, Many Obstacles

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The present clinical staging of melanoma stratifies patients into heterogeneous groups, resulting in the application of aggressive therapies to large populations, diluting impact and increasing toxicity. To move to a new era of therapeutic decisions based on highly specific tumor profiling, the discovery and validation of new prognostic and predictive biomarkers in melanoma is critical. Genomic profiling, which is showing promise in other solid tumors, requires fresh tissue from a large number of primary tumors, and thus faces a unique challenge in melanoma. For this and other reasons, proteomics appears to be an ideal choice for the discovery of new melanoma biomarkers. Several approaches to proteomics have been utilized in the search for clinically relevant biomarkers, but to date the results have been relatively limited. This article will review the present work using both tissue and serum proteomics in the search for melanoma biomarkers, highlighting both the relative advantages and disadvantages of each approach. In addition, we review several of the major obstacles that need to be overcome in order to advance the field.
The article is published online in the International Journal of Proteomics and is free to access.