06 Feb Biomarkers in cancer
Cancer is regarded as the disease of the 21st century as its incidence has been increasing during the last years. There is also a growing concern about this disease as there is still no specific cause and therefore there is no curative treatment.
Although the innovation in treatments has been increasing, the resources are still limited. This is why there is a constant search for alternatives to reduce the diagnostic costs.
One of these alternatives is the search for cancer marker. A Cancer Biomarker can have many different functions:
- Diagnostic: It can show cancer cells
- Prognostic: It indicates the tumour aggressiveness
- Treatment predictive response: it will determinate if the patient will or will not respond to the treatment
Nowadays, there are many well-known biomarkers that physicians use in their daily clinical practice. Telomere length is a potential tumor biomarker that has raised awareness. It is known that tumours have altered the synthesis of this part of DNA, however, the cause has not been found yet.
Several universities, hospitals and research centres have been trying to find the link between cancer and telomeres. One of them is CNIO (Spanish National Cancer Research Centre) that has been conducting research in this field for long time.
Nevertheless, there is still much to discover in context of cancer biomarkers.