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Keywords:

  • Breast fluid;
  • Colostrum;
  • Milk;
  • Nipple aspirate fluid

Abstract

Proteomic analysis of breast fluids has wide-ranging clinical applications. Protein expression in nipple aspirate fluid and breast cyst fluid may prove valuable for the detection and monitoring of breast cancer, but has been hampered by the lack of a single marker with sufficient breast cancer sensitivity and specificity to be clinically useful. The assessment of multiple proteins may offer a more powerful cancer detection tool. Breast cancer is particularly difficult to detect in women who are lactating. The identification of cancer predicting proteins in milk may prove very helpful in an early cancer detection in this group of women. A better understanding of the protein composition of milk and colostrum should improve infant care and nutrition, and lead to alternatives for individuals with milk allergies.