Multiple studies have reported that analysis of serum and other bodily fluids using surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectroscopy (SELDI-TOF-MS) can identify a "fingerprint" or "signature" of spectral peaks that can separate patients with a specific disease from normal control patients. Ultimately, classification by SELDI-TOF-MS relies on spectral differences in position and amplitude of resolved peaks. Since the reproducibility of quantitation, resolution and mass accuracy of the SELDI-TOF-MS, or any high throughput mass spectrometric technique, has never been determined this method has come under some skepticism as to its clinical usefulness. This manuscript describes a detailed design of a three-phase study to validate the clinical usefulness of SELDI-TOF-MS in the identification of patients with prostatic adenocarcinoma (PCA). At the end of this validation study, the usefulness of the general SELDI-TOF-MS approach to identifying patients with PCA will be demonstrated and how it compares with PCA diagnosis by measuring prostate specific antigen.