Proteomic analysis of tissues has advanced in recent years as instruments and methodologies have evolved. The ability to retrieve peptides from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues followed by shotgun or targeted proteomic analysis is offering new opportunities in biomedical research. In particular, access to large collections of clinically annotated samples should enable the detailed analysis of pathologically relevant tissues in a manner previously considered unfeasible. In this paper, we review the current status of proteomic analysis of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues with a particular focus on targeted approaches and the potential for this technique to be used in clinical research and clinical diagnosis. We also discuss the limitations and perspectives of the technique, particularly with regard to application in clinical diagnosis and drug discovery.