Study: Identify cancer biomarkers
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 16, 2007
To take advantage of new understandings of the biological underpinnings of cancer, federal agencies should take an organized approach to identify biomarkers and foster the development of novel technologies, according to an Institute of Medicine report released March 29.
Oncology therapies are expensive and typically benefit only a minority of patients, said the panel of physicians and scientists who drafted the report, "Cancer Biomarkers: The Promises and Challenges of Improving Detection and Treatment." Tests that could show which drugs would work best for an individual patient would reduce costs and improve health outcomes, the panel concluded.
The National Institutes of Health and other agencies could play an important role by storing patients' cell and tissue samples collected in prospective studies. Such samples would be useful for discovering and validating new biomarkers.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/04/16/hlbf0416.htm.