Standard Article

Oncology Biomarkers


  1. Michael A. Tainsky PhD1,2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat161

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Tainsky, M. A. 2009. Oncology Biomarkers. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology

  2. 2

    Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Barbara & Fred Erb Professor of Cancer Genetics, Program in Molecular Biology and Genetics, Detroit, MI

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Biomarkers hold tremendous promise for diagnostic devices and are useful for monitoring the effectiveness of clinical interventions. Biomarkers are also used to stratify oncology patients to the most appropriate treatment. Effective biomarkers for the early detection of cancer can provide a patient with a better outcome which will translate into more efficient delivery of healthcare. Early detection technologies applied to population-based screening for cancer have resulted in reductions in disease-associated mortalities from cancers that are otherwise deadly if allowed to progress to an advanced stage. These screening technologies have proven that early detection will decrease the morbidity and mortality from cancer. Biomarkers can provide prognostic information on disease, enabling interventions with the appropriate therapeutic agents as well as early decisions and corrections of cancer treatment. There is a plethora of novel genomic, proteomic and metabolomic technologies that can be used to discover and validate tumour biomarkers individually and, where necessary, in combinations. Although biomarkers have the potential to provide personalized diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic information, the devices to implement them clinically must supply healthcare providers with simple algorithms for step-by-step approaches to their patients.


  • diagnostic biomarkers;
  • proteomics;
  • genomics;
  • epitomics;
  • mass spectroscopy;
  • RNA expression profiling;
  • microRNA;
  • germline mutation