Cancer biomarker panels

Identify panels of biomarkers for the four most common forms of cancer.

Lung, breast, bowel, and prostate cancer make up almost half of all worldwide incidences of cancer. The need to rapidly diagnose and accurately predict the course of cancer is vitally important for patients.

While some individual markers, like Ki67, play a role in cancer diagnoses, a single biomarker is unlikely to yield conclusive clinical data about the nature or progression of the disease. Instead, a panel of biomarkers can provide the more sensitive and specific information needed for an accurate diagnosis or prognosis.

In addition to traditional protein markers, research is being directed towards identifying microRNA (miRNA) signatures to diagnose and monitor cancer.

Use the table below to quickly identify whole biomarker panels, or individual key markers of cancer to build you own panels.


Biomarker panel







TP53, Ki67, MCM6, MCM7, KIAA1522, and KIAA0317




ER, HER2, Ki67, p53, cyclin D1, COX-2, caveolin-1, survivin, and PPAR-γ



HER2, c-myc, p53, BRCA1, BRCA2, Ny-ESO-1, and MUC1



Ki67, p53, HER2, CK5/6, CK14, EGFR, FOXA1, GATA3, and P-cadherin




VEGF, p53, Ki67, and EGFR



IGFBP2, DKK3, and PKM2




CTC numbers, and LDH



AZGP1, MUC1, and p53



PSA, Kallikrien-4, MCM5/7, IL6, sIL6R, and PCA3*



* Not tested in a complete panel, but individual markers could potentially be used in future panels. See reference for more details.
APOA1 = apolipoprotein A-I, CO4A = complement C4-A, CRP = C-reactive protein, SAMP = serum amyloid P-component, TP53 = tumor protein 53 (p53), MCM5/6/7 = minichromosome maintenance complex component 5/6/7, KIAA1522 and KIAA0317 = uncharacterized proteins, ER = estrogen receptor, HER2 = human epidermal growth factor 2, COX-2 = cyclooxygenase 2, PPAR-γ = peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, Ny-ESO-1 = a cancer-testis antigen, CK5/6 = cytokeratin 5/6, CK14 = cytokeratin 14, EGFR = epidermal growth factor, FOXA1 = forkhead box protein A1, VEGF = vascular endothelial growth factor, IGFBP2 = insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2, DKK3 = Dickkopf3, PKM2 = pyruvate kinase 2, CTC = circulating tumor cells, LDH = lactate dehydrogenase, AZGP1 = alpha-2-glycoprotein 1, MUC1 = cell surface-associated mucin 1, sILR6 = soluble Interleukin-6 receptor PSA = prostate specific antigen, PCA3 = prostate cancer gene 3

Lung cancer

  • An APOA1, CO4A, CRP, GSTP1, and SAMP diagnostic panel for lung cancer reached 95% sensitivity and 81% specificity1.

  • A 6-protein panel consisting of TP53, Ki67, MCM6, MCM7, KIAA1522, and KIAA0317 reached 81.1% sensitivity for detecting nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and 86.8% (145 of 167 specimens) for detecting small cell lung cancer (SCLC) (specificity, 83.3%; 65 of 78 specimens)2.

Breast cancer

  • An ER, Her2, Ki67, p53, cyclin D1, COX-2, caveolin-1, survivin, and PPAR-γ panel for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)3 highlighted two major components: HER2 and Ki67. Their expression distributions were significantly different between nonrecurrent and recurrent cases. Her2 and Ki67 in the presence of of intraductal necrosis can aid in DCIS risk stratification3.

  • A HER2, c-myc, p53, BRCA1, BRCA2, Ny-ESO-1, and MUC1 panel was tested in sera from normal controls, primary breast cancer patients and patients with DCIS. The specificity reached 91–98%, sensitivity reached 45% in DCIS sera and 64% in primary cancer sera. A specificity of 85% was reached when a combined panel of six of seven autoantigens was tested4.

  • Using just Ki67 and p53 helped to predict patient outcome in luminal-type breast cancer5. Combined Ki67-p53 status was an independent prognostic factor by multivariate analysis, meaning this two-marker panel of Ki67 and p53 is useful to manage patients with HR-positive breast cancer.

Bowel cancer

  • Over expression of VEGF, p53, Ki67, and EGFR is related with a reduced time of survival in patients with sporadic colorectal adenocarcinoma submitted to radical surgical treatment6.

  • IGFBP2, DKK3, and PKM2 differentiate between controls and colorectal cancer (CRC) with 73% sensitivity at 95% specificity. This panel is more sensitive and specific for early stage (stages I and II) disease than the fecal occult blood test. It is a strong candidate for non-invasive blood diagnostic or screening test7.

Prostate cancer

  • A phase III clinical trial demonstrated that numbers of CTC and LDH levels are an effective biomarker of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC)8.

  • AZGP1, MUC1, and p53 expression in diagnostic tissue by IHC may improve estimates of risk of dying from prostate cancer based only on Gleason score and clinical stage9.

Related products

Major markers of cancer

Multiplex miRNA cancer panels


1.        Uribarri, M. et al. A New Biomarker Panel in Bronchoalveolar Lavage for an Improved Lung Cancer Diagnosis. J. Thorac. Oncol. 9, 1504–1512 (2014).

2.        Liu, Y.-Z. et al. A panel of protein markers for the early detection of lung cancer with bronchial brushing specimens. Cancer Cytopathol. 122, 833–41 (2014).

3.        Davis, J. E. et al. Her2 and Ki67 Biomarkers Predict Recurrence of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ. Appl. Immunohistochem. Mol. Morphol. 24, 20–5 (2016).

4.        Zaenker, P. & Ziman, M. R. Serologic autoantibodies as diagnostic cancer biomarkers - A review. Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 22, 2161–2181 (2013).

5.        Kobayashi, T. et al. A simple immunohistochemical panel comprising 2 conventional markers, Ki67 and p53, is a powerful tool for predicting patient outcome in luminal-type breast cancer. BMC Clin. Pathol. 13, 5 (2013).

6.        Luderer, L. et al. Significance of a Biomarkers Immunohistochemistry Panel for Survival Prognostic in Patients with Sporadic Colorectal Cancer. Ann. Clin. Pathol. 3, 105 (2015).

7.        Fung, K. Y. C. et al. Blood-based protein biomarker panel for the detection of colorectal cancer. PLoS One 10, 1–11 (2015).

8.        Sidaway, P. Prostate cancer: New biomarker panel prognosticates patient survival. Nat. Rev. Clin. Oncol. 12, 310–310 (2015).

9.        Severi, G. et al. A three-protein biomarker panel assessed in diagnostic tissue predicts death from prostate cancer for men with localized disease. Cancer Med. 1–9 (2014). doi:10.1002/cam4.281

10.      Martin, S. K., Vaughan, T. B., Atkinson, T., Zhu, H. & Kyprianou, N. Emerging biomarkers of prostate cancer (Review). Oncol. Rep. 28, 409–417 (2012).

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