The utility of proteomics in gynecologic cancers

Toon Van Gorp*, Isabelle Cadron, Ignace Vergote

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose of review For more than a decade, proteomic techniques have been used to unravel the nature and function of human proteins. In 2002 it came to the attention of clinicians that this technique could be used to discover new biomarkers. However, the first reports were hampered by technical and methodological flaws. Since these first reports, proteomics has matured and the technical abilities have grown enormously. An in-depth analysis of fluid or tissue specimens is now possible. We reviewed recent literature to see whether proteomics has changed our clinical practice in the diagnosis and treatment of gynecological cancers. Recent findings In ovarian cancer a great effort has been put into discovering new diagnostic and screening markers. Several proteins have been put forward as possible candidates to fulfill this task. However, none of the proteins turned out to be better than CA125 alone. In endometrial cancer many of the presumed tumor markers are not specific for endometrial cancer but are more tumor markers for cancer in general. The same problem was noticed in cervical cancer. Papers are now focusing more on therapy response and carcinogenesis. Summary To date, proteomic studies have not been able to change our clinical practice in gynecological oncology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • biomarkers
  • cervical cancer
  • endometrial cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • proteomics

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