The concept of tailoring medical treatments to individual patients based on their characteristics, such as genetic makeup, lifestyle, and environmental factors, is gaining traction. The latest advancement in personalized precision medicine that we are going to discuss is biomarker identification.
In this article, we take a closer look at these valuable assisting tools, also known as biomarkers, to find out what they are, what role they play in this framework, and how they can be harnessed to improve patient care.
Biomarkers are measurable indicators, such as proteins, genes, metabolites, or other molecules, that can be used to objectively assess various physiological, pathological, or pharmacological processes in the body.
Personalized medicine or precision medicine is an approach to healthcare that involves using individual patients’ unique characteristics to provide more effective and targeted medical treatments and interventions.
In order to do that, healthcare professionals need to gain a deeper understanding of an individual’s disease or condition. This is where biomarkers are brought into play.
Because biomarkers are like clues in the body that help healthcare professionals understand an individual’s health, by being analyzed, they can be leveraged to detect the presence of a disease, develop specific therapeutic strategies, and determine which treatments are likely to work best for an individual, increasing the chances of successful treatment while reducing the risk of side effects.
By comparing the levels or activity of specific biomarkers between healthy individuals and those with a disease, researchers can identify patterns or changes associated with the disease. For example, several studies highlighted a relationship between elevated values of KL-6 and mortality or progression in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).
Biomarkers can also be used to monitor treatment response and provide insights into whether the treatment is effective or needs adjustment. They also play a crucial role in prognosis and outcome prediction. But above all, they can be used as indicators of disease presence or risk even before symptoms manifest.
All this data obtained from biomarker analysis helps healthcare providers develop personalized care plans and provide appropriate support to individual patients. This is why biomarker identification is the foundation for personalized medicine.
However, it’s important to note that biomarker research is an active area of study, and the discovery and validation of biomarkers for specific diseases or conditions require rigorous scientific investigation. Researchers use a variety of techniques, including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and advanced data analysis methods, to identify and characterize biomarkers and their relevance to disease processes.
In this framework, Firalis Molecular Precision is at the forefront of providing multiomics solutions for biomarker discovery, which involves integrating data from multiple omics platforms such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, using sophisticated bioinformatics tools and algorithms. By doing this, we aim to obtain a more comprehensive view of the molecular landscape associated with a disease.
Leveraging the power of multiomics advances our ability to diagnose, treat, and manage complex conditions.
Stainer A, Faverio P, Busnelli S, Catalano M, Della Zoppa M, Marruchella A, Pesci A, Luppi F. Molecular Biomarkers in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: State of the Art and Future Directions. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jun 10;22(12):6255. doi: 10.3390/ijms22126255. PMID: 34200784; PMCID: PMC8230407.