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Biomarkers - Articles and news items

Biocartis and Merck partnership launch second liquid biopsy assay

Industry news / 15 March 2017 / Niamh Marriott, Junior Editor

This collaboration is aimed at jointly developing and commercialising new liquid biopsy RAS biomarker tests for metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC)…

Dolomite Bio’s Single Cell RNA-Seq System accelerating cancer research

Dolomite Bio’s Single Cell RNA-Seq System accelerating cancer research

Supplier news / 8 December 2016 / Dolomite Bio

Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, are taking advantage of the single cell encapsulation capabilities of Dolomite Bio’s Single Cell RNA-Seq System to investigate resistance mechanisms in prostate cancer…

FDA approves Roche’s immunotherapy assay to support treatment decisions in lung cancer

Industry news / 31 October 2016 / Niamh Louise Marriott, Digital Content Producer

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Roche’s PD-L1 assay as a diagnostic to identify PD-L1 expression levels in patients considering treatment with Tecentriq (atezolizumab) for previously treated metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The PD-L1 (SP142) assay is also indicated to identify patients with urothelial cancer (UC) who may benefit from treatment […]

Biomarker breakthrough could improve Parkinson’s treatment

Industry news / 16 August 2016 / University of Florida

Scientists have found that using magnetic resonance imaging reveals areas where Parkinson’s disease causes progressive decline in brain activity, a biomarker discovery which will help to evaluate new experimental treatments to slow or stop the disease’s progression…

First patient enrolled in IPF biomarker study of Ofev

Industry news / 30 June 2016 / Victoria White, Digital Content Producer

INMARK is a study investigating the effect of Ofev (nintedanib) on changes in specific blood biomarkers in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis…

MIQE compliance in expression profiling and clinical biomarker discovery

MIQE compliance in expression profiling and clinical biomarker discovery

Cancer Biology, Issue 6 2015 / 6 January 2016 / Irmgard Riedmaier, Melanie Spornraft, Benedikt Kirchner and Michael W. Pfaffl, Technical University of Munich

Molecular diagnostics and biomarker discovery are gaining increasing attraction in clinical research. This includes all fields of diagnostics, such as risk assessment, disease prognosis, treatment prediction and drug application success control. The detection of molecular clinical biomarkers is very widespread and can be developed on various molecular levels, like the genome, the epi-genome, the transcriptome, the proteome or the metabolome. Today, numerous high-throughput laboratory methods allow rapid and holistic screening for such marker candidates. Regardless of which molecular level is analysed, in order to detect biomarker candidates, high sample quality and a standardised and highly reproducible quantification workflow are prerequisites. This article describes an optimal and approved development strategy to discover and validate ‘transcriptional biomarkers’ in clinical diagnostics, which are in compliance with the recently developed MIQE guidelines. We focus on the importance of sample quality, RNA integrity, available screening and quantification methods, and biostatistical tools for data interpretation…

AYOXXA & SERI to collaborate on protein biomarker detection

AYOXXA and SERI to collaborate on protein biomarker detection

Industry news / 3 February 2015 / AYOXXA Biosystems / SERI

AYOXXA and SERI will work together on validating the company’s multiplexing technology platform for protein biomarker detection, as part of an expanded collaboration for developing ophthalmic diagnostic tools…

Your next clinical biomarker will be assayed by mass spectrometry....or not!

Your next clinical biomarker will be assayed by mass spectrometry….or not!

Issue 6 2014 / 23 December 2014 / Axel Ducret, Biochemist

This article will focus on some of the critical aspects of transition biomarkers discovered in classical (MS-based) proteomics workflows and on the challenges to be met before validated assays can become more routine in the clinical laboratory…

SLAS2015 : Promises Information, Innovation and Connections

Issue 6 2014 / 23 December 2014 / The Society for Laboratory Automation & Screening (SLAS)

The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) is proud to present SLAS2015, the Fourth Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Society…

Amancio Carnero, Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Biomarkers for cancer treatment

Cancer Biology, Issue 5 2013 / 22 October 2013 / Amancio Carnero, Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

There is an urgent need to predict which treatment will report the most benefit to a patient with cancer. To that end, scientists are exploring any possible biomolecule in the organism that can mark each individual for its adequate treatment. If achieved, it will open a personalised medicine era.

Label-free quantitative proteomics: Why has it taken so long to become a mainstream approach?

Label-free quantitative proteomics: Why has it taken so long to become a mainstream approach?

Issue 3 2013, Proteomics / 13 June 2013 / Thierry Le Bihan, SynthSys and Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh

In recent years, mass spectrometry (MS) based proteomics has moved from being a qualitative tool (used to mainly identify proteins) to a more reliable analysis tool, allowing relative quantitation as well as absolute quantitation of a large number of proteins. However, the developed quantitative methods are either specific for certain types of samples or certain types of mass spectrometers. In some cases, developing expertise on how to use a given method may take a long time and the use of these methods is therefore limited to few laboratories. Other quantitative methods are suitable for simple standard protein mixes which are far from the complexity of real samples. As a consequence, the number of available quantitative methods is high and choosing the right one is challenging.

Table 1: Confounding effects influencing measured RNA levels

RNA quality matters

Genomics, Issue 6 2012 / 18 December 2012 / Mikael Kubista, Jens Björkman, David Svec and Robert Sjöback, TATAA Biocenter

RNA levels can be measured with very high specificity, sensitivity and accuracy with techniques such as real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR), microarray analysis and next generation sequencing. This makes messenger (m) RNAs and potentially microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs popular as biomarkers. But RNA is less stable and more dynamic than DNA, and assays are not always specific for RNA, so can we trust measured expression values?

A biomarker is a biological molecule found in blood, other body fluids or tissues, and is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, or of a condition or disease1. The biomarker may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition. Most popular and common molecular biomarkers are DNA, RNA and proteins. While proteins and in particular DNA are quite stable molecules and can be analysed for many properties such as sequence years after being removed from their natural biological environment, RNA molecules are not (Table 1). The extra 2’-hydroxyl group on the ribose in RNA that is absent in DNA is a nucleophile. It confers catalytic activity to ribozymes, but also makes RNA intrinsically unstable. In aqueous solution, RNA spontaneously degrades through self-cleavage catalysed by metal ions such as Mg2+, high (>9) or low (<2) pH, and temperature. EDTA or citrate is therefore typically added to RNA preserving solutions to chelate Mg2+2. Although RNA is more resistant to ultraviolet (UV) irradiation than DNA, it causes several types of damage including photochemical modification, cross - linking and oxidation.


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