Biomarkers and Cancer: Correlation Is Not Causation

January 6, 2015
Biomarkers and Cancer: Correlation Is Not Causation
Source: Nelsonart­/Deposit Photos

Gabriel A. Bien-Willner, M.D., Ph.D.

We recently tweeted an article about researchers from The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai who had identified a genetic variant that might predict how cancer patients respond to radiation. One of our Twitter followers pointed out that simply showing a correlation means nothing. He has a great point—there are thousands/millions of genetic variants that exist, but not all of them are actionable for cancer treatment.

There is a lot we don’t know about cancer. We don’t even have a rigorous definition of what malignancy is. Nonetheless, most of the medical community would agree that cancer is a genetic disease.

For the rest of the story, click here.