The Challenge: Discovery of Disease-Specific Biomarkers Related to Disease Mechanism and Phenotype- With the advent of ‘omic technologies and systems biology research, the search for disease-specific biomarkers has flourished. These technologies provide a comprehensive view of the genetic, protein and biochemical nature of disease. The search for disease biomarkers can yield many different types of biomarkers.
Predictive Biomarkers—These biomarkers, usually genetic mutations (e.g., SNPs), are predictive of the development of a disease. These markers indicate whether an individual is predisposed to a certain disease. The simplest example is sickle-cell anemia where a single mutation leads to the disease. More common are multiple mutations which can predispose one to a disease where the influence of environment and diet can contribute to differing degrees.
Disease Biomarkers—These biomarkers, usually proteins and biochemicals, are related to the progression of a disease. Whereas predictive biomarkers give insight into who could develop a disease, disease biomarkers indicate the state of disease progression.
Although biochemical disease biomarkers have been used for years to diagnose disease (e.g., glucose for diabetes), systems biology approaches are beginning to uncover the mechanism of the disease as well as early stage markers. These early stage markers are very important to help diagnose and treat disease before it becomes severe.
The Solution: Global Analysis of Biochemicals