Biomarkers for Detection and Screening of Cancer
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Detection of cancer at its early stages of development, when intervention is much more likely to be successful, is key to improving survival rates. Detection methods fall into two broad categories: imaging techniques and biomarkers. Although only a few biomarkers are currently used in clinical practice, many more are under investigation — including candidates based on DNA, proteins and autoantibodies. DNA-based biomarkers include cancer-associated mutated genes, microsatellite instability (MSI), DNA hypermethylation, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and gene-expression patterns. Potential proteomic markers include protein-expression profiles, individual proteins and levels of proteins. A promising area is the detection of autoantibodies in serum directed against tumor-associated molecules.
Development of biomarker-based clinical diagnostics for cancer is greatly hindered by the lack of reproducibility and reliability of initial studies, which often suffer from poo ...