• cancer;
  • molecular diagnosis;
  • biomarker discovery;
  • “omics”;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • bioinformatics


Many “omics” techniques have been developed for one goal: biomarker discovery and early diagnosis of human cancers. A comprehensive review of mass spectrometry-based “omics” approaches performed on various biological samples for molecular diagnosis of human cancers is presented in this article. Furthermore, the existing and potential problems/solutions (both de facto experimental and bioinformatic challenges), and future prospects have been extensively discussed. Although the use of present omic methods as diagnostic tools are still in their infant stage and consequently not ready for immediate clinical use, it can be envisaged that the “omics”-based cancer diagnostics will gradually enter into the clinic in next 10 years as an important supplement to current clinical diagnostics. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Mass Spec Rev