Discovery of ovarian cancer biomarkers in serum using NanoLC electrospray ionization TOF and FT-ICR mass spectrometry

H. Robert Bergen, George Vasmatzis, William A. Cliby, Kenneth L. Johnson, Ann L. Oberg, David C. Muddiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Treatment of cancer patients is greatly facilitated by detection of the cancer prior to metastasis. One of the obstacles to early cancer detection is the lack of availability of biomarkers with sufficient specificity. With modern differential proteomic techniques, the potential exists to identify high specificity cancer biomarkers. We have delineated a set of protocols for the isolation and identification of serum biomarkers for ovarian cancer that exist in the low molecular weight serum fraction. After isolation of the low molecular weight fraction by ultrafiltration, the potential biomarkers are separated by reversed phase nano liquid chromatography. Detection via TOF or FT-ICR yields a data set for each sample. We compared stage III/TV ovarian cancer serum with postmenopausal age-matched controls. Using bioinformatics tools developed at Mayo, we normalized each sample for intensity and chromatographic alignment. Normalized data sets are subsequently compared and potential biomarkers identified. Several candidate biomarkers were found. One of these contains the sequence of fibrinopeptide-A known to be elevated in many types of cancer including ovarian cancer. The protocols utilized will be examined and would be applicable to a wide variety of cancers or disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-249
Number of pages11
JournalDisease Markers
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 2003


  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomarkers
  • FT-ICR
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Serum
  • TOF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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