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Cancer Biomarker Discovery for Precision Medicine: New Progress

[ Vol. 26 , Issue. 42 ]


Jinfeng Zou and Edwin Wang*   Pages 7655 - 7671 ( 17 )


Background: Precision medicine puts forward customized healthcare for cancer patients. An important way to accomplish this task is to stratify patients into those who may respond to a treatment and those who may not. For this purpose, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers have been pursued.

Objective: This review focuses on novel approaches and concepts of exploring biomarker discovery under the circumstances that technologies are developed, and data are accumulated for precision medicine.

Results: The traditional mechanism-driven functional biomarkers have the advantage of actionable insights, while data-driven computational biomarkers can fulfill more needs, especially with tremendous data on the molecules of different layers (e.g. genetic mutation, mRNA, protein etc.) which are accumulated based on a plenty of technologies. Besides, the technology-driven liquid biopsy biomarker is very promising to improve patients’ survival. The developments of biomarker discovery on these aspects are promoting the understanding of cancer, helping the stratification of patients and improving patients’ survival.

Conclusion: Current developments on mechanisms-, data- and technology-driven biomarker discovery are achieving the aim of precision medicine and promoting the clinical application of biomarkers. Meanwhile, the complexity of cancer requires more effective biomarkers, which could be accomplished by a comprehensive integration of multiple types of biomarkers together with a deep understanding of cancer.


Precision medicine, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, cancer heterogeneity, integrative analysis, network, early cancer detection.


Princess Margaret Cancer Center, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, ON, M5G 23C1, College of Life Science, Tianjin Normal University, Tianjin

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