Biomarkers are measures of what is happening in your body at any given time. An example of a biomarker is the level of calcium in your body. There are many different biomarkers that can be measured through current medical tests. These biomarkers are often measured in an attempt to gain evidence for a diagnosis. However, biomarkers are also measured to see how well a certain medication is working. As biomarkers are vital in many healthcare applications, it is very important that biomarkers are generated accurately. Biomarker assay validation ensures that this happens. Read on to learn more about biomarkers.
A wide variety of biomarkers are commonly used
A large variety of biomarkers are measured by common medical tests. Generally, each system of the body has its own biomarkers. For example, the digestive system has different biomarkers than the nervous system. This means that doctors would test for different biomarkers if they thought a patient might have a digestive disease than if they suspected a patient might have a nervous disease.
Some very common medical tests check for biomarkers that can have an impact on multiple systems. For example, body mass index can affect a patient’s digestive and circulatory systems.
What characteristics does a good biomarker have?
To be useful to physicians and medical scientists, a biomarker has to have several important characteristics. It needs to be able to be measured safely and easily. It also must be possible to measure a biomarker with an affordable test. Finally, and perhaps most important, a biomarker needs to be consistent across gender and across ethnicities. If a biomarker fluctuates based on the patient’s gender or ethnicity, their doctor will not know whether their biomarker measurements are due to a medical condition or their gender or ethnicity.
Biomarkers are often used in cancer tests
Biomarkers have long been commonly used for circulatory, digestive, and metabolic conditions. In recent years, biomarkers have also been at the forefront of the fight against cancer. Cancer researchers initially used biomarkers to understand the origin and progression of cancer. Biomarkers are still often the focus of cancer research. However, biomarkers are now used in the treatment of cancer.
Different types of tumors may cause a variation in biomarker measurements. If doctors can identify the origin and type of a tumor, they may be able to treat cancer patients more effectively. In the past, cancer drugs often destroyed healthy cells and cancer cells alike. Now that doctors are able to get more information about a tumor, they can target the tumor with specialized medication that will not cause severe damage to healthy cells.
Biomarkers in genetic testing
Genetic testing is becoming more common in the medical world. Genetic tests can allow doctors to determine whether a patient is likely to develop certain diseases, including certain types of cancer, in the future. The biomarkers used in genetic testing come from abnormalities in DNA and RNA. These tests are still too expensive for many patients, but they are gradually becoming more affordable.