Proteomics has emerged from the labs of technologists to enter widespread application in clinical contexts. This transition, however, has been hindered by overstated early claims of accuracy, concerns about reproducibility, and the challenges of handling batch effects properly. New efforts have produced sets of performance metrics and measurements of variability that establish sound expectations for experiments in clinical proteomics. As researchers begin incorporating these metrics in a quality by design paradigm, the variability of individual steps in experimental pipelines will be reduced, regularizing overall outcomes. This review discusses the evolution of quality assessment in 2D gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry-based proteomic profiling, tandem mass spectrometry-based protein inventories, and proteomic quantitation. Taken together, the advances in each of these technologies are establishing databases that will be increasingly useful for decision-making in clinical experimentation.
Copyright © 2012 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.