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Open Access Review

Opportunities and challenges of disease biomarkers: a new section in the journal of translational medicine

Xiangdong Wang12* and Peter A Ward3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Respiratory Medicine, Biomedical Research Center, Zhongshan Hospital Qing-Pu Branch, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

2 Clinical Bioinformatics, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden

3 Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2012, 10:240  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-240

Published: 5 December 2012

Abstract

Disease biomarkers are defined to diagnose various phases of diseases, monitor severities of diseases and responses to therapies, or predict prognosis of patients. Disease-specific biomarkers should benefit drug discovery and development, integrate multidisciplinary sciences, be validated by molecular imaging. The opportunities and challenges in biomarker development are emphasized and considered. The Journal of Translational Medicine opens a new Section of Disease Biomarkers to bridge identification and validation of gene or protein-based biomarkers, network biomarkers, dynamic network biomarkers in human diseases, patient phenotypes, and clinical applications. Disease biomarkers are also important for determining drug effects, target specificities and binding, dynamic metabolism and pharmacological kinetics, or toxicity profiles.