BACKGROUND - Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Recent years have brought tremendous progress in the development of genomic and proteomic platforms to study lung cancer progression and biomarker identification.
OBJECTIVE - To evaluate and integrate potential innovations of 'omics' (e.g., genomics and proteomics) technologies in dissecting biomarkers for lung cancer.
METHODS - Omics technologies permit simultaneous monitoring of many hundreds or thousands of macro and small molecules, as well as functional monitoring of multiple pivotal cellular pathways. Discussion follows to explore the principal challenges in the development of cancer biomarkers integrating genomics with proteomics data sets with their functional counterparts in conjunction with clinical data.
RESULTS/CONCLUSION - Sets of genes and gene interactions affecting different subsets of cancers can be determined using genomics in lung cancer. Proteomic studies have generated numerous functional data sets of potential diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic significance in lung cancer. It is likely that omics will take a central place in the understanding, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of lung cancer. Here the potential benefits and pitfalls of these methodologies are reviewed for the faster discovery of therapeutically valuable biomarkers for lung cancer.