Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 406, Issue 17, pp 4013–4031

Application of capillary electrophoresis for the early diagnosis of cancer



Early diagnosis is the key to the effective treatment of cancer. The detection of cancer biomarkers plays a critical role not only in cancer early diagnosis, but also in classification and staging tumor progression, or assessment prognosis and treatment response. Currently, various molecular diagnostic techniques have been developed for cancer biomarker studies, with many of the more effective approaches requiring a separation step before detection. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) can perform rapid and efficient separation with small samples, which is well-suited for analysis of both small- and macro- molecule biomarkers in complex samples. CE has different separation modes and can couple to different detectors into a variety of platforms, such as conducting studies on DNA/ RNA point mutation, protein misexpression, and metabolite abnormality. Similarly, microchip capillary electrophoresis (MCE) appears as a very important biomarker screening platform with the merits of high throughput, integration, and miniaturization, which makes it a promising clinical tool. By hyphenated different detectors, or integrated with immunoassay, PCR/LDR and related technologies, MCE can be constructed into diverse platforms used in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics study for biomarkers discovery. The multiplex biomarker screening approach via CE- or MCE-based platforms is becoming a trend. This paper focuses on studies of cancer biomarkers via CE/MCE platforms, based on the studies published over the past 3 years. Some recent CE applications in the field of cancer study, such as cancer theranostics, are introduced.


Biomarker Cancer Capillary electrophoresis Early diagnosis Microchip electrophoresis 









alpha-1-acid glycoprotein


adenomatous polyposis coli


branched-chain amino acid


base pair


capillary electrophoresis


continuous-flow ligase detection reaction


continuous-flow polymerase chain reaction


capillary gel electrophoresis


conformation-sensitive capillary electrophoresis


circulating tumor cell


circulating tumor cell


capillary zone electrophoresis


diode array detector


denaturing high performance liquid chromatography


dual-laser-induced fluorescence


enzyme mismatch cleavage


enhanced mismatch mutation analysis


electrospray ionization


Food and Drug Administration (US)


fluorescein isothiocyanate


fluorescence resonance energy transfer


haptoglobin phenotype




inductively coupled plasma


ligase detection reaction


light-emitting diode-induced fluorescence


laser-induced fluorescence


limit of detection


micro-total-analysis systems




mismatch repair


moving reaction boundary


multidrug resistance-associated protein


mass spectrometry


microsatellite instability




non-alcoholic steatohepatitis


non-gel sieving -capillary electrophoresis


National Institute of Health (US)


polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis


prostate cancer


polymerase chain reaction


prostate-specific antigen


restriction endonuclease fingerprinting


restriction fragment length polymorphism


sodium dodecyl sulfate


single strand conformation polymorphism

SYBR green 1

a flourescence dye for dsDNA


temperature gradient capillary electrophoresis






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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and the Beckman InstituteUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Pharmacy CollegeDali UniversityDaliChina

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