Biomarkers – today and tomorrow

Kopper László
Semmelweis Egyetem, I. Patológiai és Kísérleti Rákkutató Intézet, Budapest

Biomarkers (tumor markers in oncology) are able to make exact, objective and reproducible distinction between two groups. Biomarkers can serve different purposes, as to estimate the patient’s survival without treatment (prognostic marker), to select those patients who would respond optimally to treatment (predictive marker), to follow the patient in order to detect of a relapse (monitoring marker), helping identifi cation the tumor-type (diagnostic marker). The main task for a biomarker is to fi nd the best treatment with less toxicity. The main enemy of biomarkers is the heterogeneity of the tumor, the continuous change in its geno- and phenotype, which can explain the low sensitivity and specifi city. More attention should be given to standardization and validity. It is highly possible, that biomarker-panel as well as marker-based clinical trials will be used in the near future.

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