There has been increased interest in the analysis of protein biomarkers in clinical tumor tissues in recent years. Tissue-based biomarker assays can add value and aid decision-making at all stages of drug development, as well as being developed for use as predictive biomarkers and for patient stratification and prognostication in the clinic. However, there must be an awareness of the legal and ethical issues related to the sourcing of human tissue samples. This article also discusses the limits of scope and critical aspects on the successful use of the following tissue-based methods immunohistochemistry, tissue microarrays and automated image analysis. Future advances in standardization of tissue biobanking methods, immunohistochemistry and quantitative image analysis techniques are also discussed.