MS-based approaches using targeted methods have been widely adopted by the proteomics community to study clinical questions such as the evaluation of biomarkers. At present, the most widely used targeted MS method is the SRM technique typically performed on a triple quadrupole instrument. However, the high analytical demands for performing clinical studies in combination with the extreme complexity of the samples involved are a serious challenge. The segmentation of the biomarker evaluation workflow has only partially alleviated these issues by differently balancing the analytical requirements and throughput at different stages of the process. The recent introduction of targeted high-resolution and accurate-mass analyses on fast sequencing mass spectrometers operated in parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) mode offers new avenues to conduct clinical studies and thus overcome some of the limitations of the triple quadrupole instrument. This article discusses the attributes and specificities of the PRM technique, in terms of experimental design, execution, and data analysis, and the implications for biomarker evaluation. The benefits of PRM on data quality and the impact on the consistency of results are highlighted and the definitive progress on the overall output of clinical studies, including high throughput, is discussed.
- High-resolution and accurate-mass
- Parallel reaction monitoring
- Targeted proteomics