Technology Insight: Pharmacoproteomics for cancer - Promises of patient-tailored medicine using protein microarrays

Julia D. Wulfkuhle*, Kirsten H. Edmiston, Lance A. Liotta, Emanuel F. Petricoin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Patient-tailored medicine can be defined as the selection of specific therapeutics to treat disease in a particular individual based on genetic, genomic or proteomic information. While individualized treatments have been used in medicine for years, advances in cancer treatment have now generated a need to more precisely define and identify those patients who will derive the most benefit from new-targeted agents. Cellular signaling pathways are a protein-based network, and the intended drug effect is to disrupt aberrant protein phosphorylation-based enzymatic activity and epigenetic phenomena. Pharmacoproteomics, or the tailoring of therapy based on proteomic knowledge, will begin to take a central role in this process. A new type of protein array platform, the reverse-phase protein microarray, shows potential for providing detailed information about the state of the cellular 'circuitry' from small samples such as patient biopsy specimens. Measurements of hundreds of specific phosphorylated proteins that span large classes of important signaling pathways can be obtained at once from only a few thousand cells. Clinical implementation of these new proteomic tools to aid the clinical, medical and surgical oncologist in making decisions about patient care will now require thoughtful communication between practicing clinicians and research scientists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-268
Number of pages13
JournalNature Clinical Practice Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell signalling
  • Pharmacoproteomics
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein microarrays
  • Tailored medicine


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