[Xiong, Q; Ge, F] Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Hydrobiol, Wuhan 430072, Peoples R China
Predicting response to thalidomide-based therapy remains a challenging task faced by clinicians in the treatment of multiple myeloma. The pioneering work reported by Rajpal et al. moves one step further towards solving this challenge. They developed a proteomics-based approach that combines immunodepletion, 2D-difference gel electrophoresis analysis and mass spectrometry to search for serum proteins with expressions that show significant correlations to thalidomide treatment. This integrated approach allowed them to identify a panel of protein biomarkers. By using ELISA-based validation and strict statistical analysis, the authors have achieved an overall 84.0% predictive accuracy, with associated sensitivity and specificity values of 81.8 and 86.2%, respectively. Their methods and significant findings are reviewed within this article. This panel of biomarkers may not only guide initial therapy, but can also provide direct implications for personalized medicine in multiple myeloma patients.