Abstract / Description of output
Primary malignant brain tumours (anaplastic glioma and glioblastoma) display heterogenous histopathology and diverse genetic abnormalities. These tumours remain incurable with no significant improvement in median survival times in the last 20 years, despite significant technological advances in surgery and radiotherapy, and mechanistic insights into their aetiology. Recent clinical trials suggest molecular characterization of tumours is essential in guiding both therapy and predicting prognosis. Genetic insight into tumour biology and increasingly proteomic technology has opened new avenues for novel applied clinical research. Protein expression in human malignant glioma and matched normal brain tissues can now be reliably analysed using quantitative proteomic techniques, the most accessible of which is two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DGE) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry from which differentially expressed proteins can be identified and characterized. The potential of using differential proteomic profiling in gliomas to identify prognostic markers and to gain insight into tumour biology is currently being investigated. The current status of proteomic technology, its application to gliomas and the utility of such translational studies is reviewed.