Neoplastic disease is a condition that causes tumor growth, both benign and malignant. Benign tumor is noncancerous growth, grows slowly and does not spread to other tissues while malignant tumor is cancerous, grows slowly or quickly and carries the risk of metastasis.
A biomarker is a biomolecule that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathological processes, or pharmacological responses to a therapeutic drug treatment. Alternatively, is defined as a chemical, its metabolite, or the product of an interaction between a chemical and some target molecule (genes, gene products, enzymes, or hormones etc.) or cell that is measured in the human body.
The present paper was aimed at examining a number of malignant tumor (cancer) biomarkers and analytical techniques that have been developed to identify and quantify the biomarkers parent compounds, their metabolites, chemical adducts (deoxyribonucleic acid and proteins adducts) in biological samples. The biological samples include but not limited to blood (whole blood, plasma or serum), urine, saliva, cerebrospinal fluid, faeces, adipose tissue and other specific tissues. A human serum is the clear portion of the human’s body fluid that separates from blood upon clotting. Literature search is the methodology utilized in this report.
The analytical techniques to identify and quantify cancer biomarkers include physicochemical and immunological methods. Some of the physicochemical methods are atomic absorption spectroscopy, atomic emission spectroscopy, ion exchange chromatography, liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), gel electrophoresis, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS), fluorescence and phosphorescence spectroscopy. Hyphenation method (HPLC-MS or GC-MS etc.) is often employed in the analysis. The immunological methods include radioimmunoassay (RIA), immunoaffinity chromatography (IAC) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Some of the cancer biomarkers that are proteins have been separated, identified and quantified from biological samples using any of the analytical methods which exploit the physicochemical properties (isoelectric point, hydrophobicity and molecular mass and size) of proteins. Similarly, non-protein cancer biomarkers such as aflatoxin B1 and its metabolite aflatoxin M1; 4- (Methylnitrosamino))-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone, NNK and 1,1-Dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene, DDE etc. have also been identified and quantified by some of these analytical methods. In conclusion, due to the complexity of the matrices some of these biomarkers are found in, hyphenation analytical method is considered the analytical method of interest in terms of specificity, selectivity and sensitivity.