To date, the quest to develop a noninvasive diagnostic test for endometriosis has mostly concentrated on the levels of cytokines and growth factors that are involved in inflammation, angioneogenesis and tissue remodeling, present in serum, peritoneal fluid, endometrium and endometriotic lesions. As this has not yet translated into the development of such a diagnostic test, proteomic techniques are now being employed to identify proteins that are potential biomarkers for the disease. As proteomics allows the comprehensive analysis of complex fluid and tissue samples with good sensitivity and resolution, it has promise in delivering markers associated with endometriosis. Once identified, the challenge will be in translating these markers into a clinically useful test for endometriosis, as the pathophysiology of this disease is unknown and likely to be complex and multifactorial. Also, with variation between individuals and the influences of steroid hormones during the menstrual cycle, it could be difficult to validate findings relating to a single protein or small groups of proteins differentially expressed in the disease state. Proteomic profiling, using mass spectrometry in combination with sophisticated bioinformatics software to identify protein patterns, may be where a significant clinical diagnostic contribution can be made.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology