Biomarkers

Definition


A biomarker is defined as all molecular, biochemical parameters or cells present in organisms that can be measured accurately.

Biomarkers are mainly measured for the following purposes:

  • to assess a diagnosis
  • to assess patient prognosis for a given disease
  • to measure treatment efficacy
  • to detect early-stage diseases (screening)
  • to detect the exposure to toxic compounds

Examples 
 

  • Diagnostic purpose

    • Troponins, for myocardial infarction (heart attack)
    • D-dimers, deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
    • Sugar in blood, for diabetes
    • Anti-HIV antibodies, for HIV
       
  • Pronostic purpose

    • Urinary albumine, cardiovascular risk increased in presence of diabetes

  • Therapeutic purpose

    • Tumoral biomarkers (PSA, CEA, …)  and presence of HER-2, PR and ER...receptors on breast cancer tumoral cells for cancer follow-up after treatment