Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 39, Issue 8, pp 8483–8490 | Cite as

Searching for consistently reported up- and down-regulated biomarkers in colorectal cancer: a systematic review of proteomic studies



The cumulative lifetime risk for the development of colorectal cancer in the general population is 6 %. In many cases, early detection by fecal occult blood test is limited regarding sensitivity. Therefore, there is an urgent need for improved diagnostic tests in colorectal cancer. The recent development of high-throughput molecular analytic techniques should allow the rapid evaluation of new diagnostic markers. However, researchers are faced with an overwhelming number of potential markers form numerous colorectal cancer protein expression profiling studies. To address the challenge, we have carried out a comprehensive systematic review of colorectal cancer biomarkers from 13 published studies that compared the protein expression profiles of colorectal cancer and normal tissues. A protein ranking system that considers the number of comparisons in agreement, total sample sizes, average fold-change and direction of differential expression was devised. We observed that some proteins were consistently reported by multiple studies as differentially expressed with a statistically significant frequency (P < 0.05) in cancer versus normal tissues comparison. Our systematic review method identified proteins that were consistently reported as differentially expressed. A review of the top four candidates revealed proteins described previously as having diagnostic value as well as novel candidate biomarkers. These candidates should help to develop a panel of biomarkers with sufficient sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of colorectal cancer in a clinical setting.


Proteomics Colorectal cancer Biomarker 



The authors thank Professor Simon Chan (Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, British Columbia Cancer Research Centre) for some technic directions on this study. This work was financially sponsored by Shanghai Rising-Star Program (No. 11QA1404800), the Grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81001069), and the National 863 High Technology Foundation (No. 2009AA02Z118).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 32 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOC 44 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOC 48 kb)
11033_2012_1702_MOESM4_ESM.doc (39 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOC 39 kb)
11033_2012_1702_MOESM5_ESM.doc (28 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (DOC 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanlei Ma
    • 1
  • Peng Zhang
    • 1
  • Feng Wang
    • 1
  • Huanlong Qin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryShanghai Tenth People’s Hospital Affiliated to Tongji UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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