Role of BioSpecimens and BioMarkers

Human biospecimens enable researchers to study the molecular characteristics of an actual disease and then correlate those patterns with the known clinical progression of the disease. Specifically, human biospecimens can be used to:

  • develop screening tests for "biomarkers" to identify risk patients
  • group patients based on "biomarkers" of disease to determine appropriate treatment
  • identify and validate drug targets
  • identify disease mechanisms

A biomarker is a gene or a set of genes or its products, RNA and proteins, that researchers use to predict a key clinical issue such as diagnosis, prognosis, response to treatment, choice of treatment or recurrence. Biomarker studies can provide a bridge between emerging molecular information and clinical treatment. Biomarkers may also lead to personalized treatment, in contrast to protocol-based medicine of today.