Your News Feature “Running before we can walk?” (Nature 429, 496–497; 2004) summarizes recent developments in the use of serum proteomic patterns, in particular the OvaCheck test, for early cancer detection. It states that “the first criticisms of OvaCheck hit the public domain in June 2003”.
Unfortunately, this is not accurate. Following publication of the first paper by Petricoin and colleagues on ovarian cancer (your ref. 1), The Lancet published several correspondences critiquing the method in July 2002 (Lancet 360, 169–170; 2002). More importantly, the limitations of this approach are not restricted to those revealed by the new bioinformatic analyses described in the News Feature. (For more information, see E. P. Diamandis Mol. Cell Proteomics 3, 367–378; 2004.) The cautionary notes of many authors on the limitations of this technology are useful in tempering the original optimism that this method will revolutionize the way we diagnose cancer in the future.