, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 1-11

The use of transcriptomic biomarkers for personalized medicine

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Microarrays are a high throughput technology that allows the quantification of tens of thousands of RNA transcripts in a single reaction. This new technology offers the promise of comprehensive study of disease at a genomic level, potentially identifying novel molecular abnormalities, developing novel clinical biomarkers, and investigating drug efficacy. The ability to develop a molecular profile corresponding to a therapeutic effect is the basis for the concept of drug repositioning. With regard to prediction of clinical events, microarray technology has the potential to contribute to the development of sophisticated new biomarkers useful as predictors of disease etiology, outcome, and responsiveness to therapy—so-called personalized medicine. Currently progress in the field is hampered by a degree of skepticism about the reliability of microarray data and its relevance for clinical applications. Here we discuss possible pitfalls of transcriptomic analysis, review current developments in the cardiovascular area and address the use of transcriptomics for clinical applications.