Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common histological subtype of malignant breast cancer (BC), and accounts for 70–80% of all invasive BCs. IDC demonstrates great heterogeneity in clinical and histopathological characteristics, prognoses, treatment strategies, gene expressions, and proteomic profiles. Significant proteomic determinants
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Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common histological subtype of malignant breast cancer (BC), and accounts for 70–80% of all invasive BCs. IDC demonstrates great heterogeneity in clinical and histopathological characteristics, prognoses, treatment strategies, gene expressions, and proteomic profiles. Significant proteomic determinants of the progression from intraductal pre-invasive malignant lesions of the breast, which characterize a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), to IDC, are still poorly identified, validated, and clinically applied. In the era of “6P” medicine, it remains a great challenge to determine which patients should be over-treated versus which need to be actively monitored without aggressive treatment. The major difficulties for designating DCIS to IDC progression may be solved by understanding the integrated genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic bases of invasion. In this review, we showed that multiple proteomics-based techniques, such as LC–MS/MS, MALDI-ToF MS, SELDI-ToF-MS, MALDI-ToF/ToF MS, MALDI-MSI or MasSpec Pen, applied to in-tissue, off-tissue, BC cell lines and liquid biopsies, improve the diagnosis of IDC, as well as its prognosis and treatment monitoring. Classic proteomics strategies that allow the identification of dysregulated protein expressions, biological processes, and interrelated pathway analyses based on aberrant protein–protein interaction (PPI) networks have been improved to perform non-invasive/minimally invasive biomarker detection of early-stage IDC. Thus, in modern surgical oncology, highly sensitive, rapid, and accurate MS-based detection has been coupled with “proteome point sampling” methods that allow for proteomic profiling by in vivo “proteome point characterization”, or by minimal tissue removal, for ex vivo accurate differentiation and delimitation of IDC. For the detection of low-molecular-weight proteins and protein fragments in bodily fluids, LC–MS/MS and MALDI-MS techniques may be coupled to enrich and capture methods which allow for the identification of early-stage IDC protein biomarkers that were previously invisible for MS-based techniques. Moreover, the detection and characterization of protein isoforms, including posttranslational modifications of proteins (PTMs), is also essential to emphasize specific molecular mechanisms, and to assure the early-stage detection of IDC of the breast.