Traversing the Cancer Biomarker Labyrinth

November 5, 2014
Traversing the Cancer Biomarker Labyrinth
One of the major roadblocks to successful biomarker development is an inadequate specimen procurement process. [Science Photo/Fotolia]

Kathy Liszewski

Tailoring healthcare decisions based on biological information represents the promise of personalized medicine. A key hurdle slowing progress toward tailored therapeutics is developing appropriate biomarkers for diagnostics, prognostics, and prediction.

Despite much research, only a trickle of biomarkers has made it into clinical practice. Researchers, however, are pursuing novel avenues and making headway by dissecting the subtle architecture of normal versus cancerous cells. New approaches include scrutinizing aberrant glycans, microRNAs shed from tumors, and epigenetic modifications, as well as mining and merging the vast stores of multi-omics data.

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