Biological markers refer to any parts taken out of a human’s body, for instance, tumour tissue. These are used in order to envisage a biological process, whether it is normal or abnormal. There are various types of biomarkers, diagnostic biomarkers, prognostic biomarkers, and others that can help with the treatment itself. Diagnostic biomarkers help identify a disease, whereas, prognostic biomarkers are used by clinicians to recognise whether a patient will have a serious problem with a disease or if a patient is likely to die from a disease or not. The rest of the biomarkers are used to determine which treatment would be best for a specific condition. Even though the idea of biomarkers has always been with our society for a long time, it has not, however, been effectively used. With time, it started to change when clinics began implementing biomarkers into their clinic care. This is a revolutionary aspect of today’s medical industry.
WHY ARE BIOMARKERS IMPORTANT?
We have seen many failures of medication, either from side effects or other reasons. Imagine how nice it would be if biomarkers can reduce the failure rate and take the progression of healthcare to the next level. Biomarkers can help identify which medicine will be best for each patient and condition. It can classify which treatment method would result best for each patient as well. Although it only has been used more than before recently, but for Colorectal Cancer, biomarkers are regularly used for prognosis and therapy guidance.
EXAMPLE OF BIOMARKERS USED FOR COLORECTAL CANCER PROGNOSIS AND DIAGNOSIS
Typically, a pathologist will take the tissue from a patient’s body, and they can identify whether it is cancerous or not. When they obtain this tissue they can also run tests for biomarkers. The most common aspect biomarkers are used for Colorectal Cancer as they can be determined from tumour tissue, especially to see mistakes in the DNA. This is called a microsatellite instable high. This is important for a prognosis because people with tumours which have a microsatellite instable high are often related to the diagnosis of Lynch Syndrome. People who can get a better prognosis, tend to do better than those who cannot.
WHEN SHOULD PATIENTS TEST FOR CANCER BIOMARKERS?
It is advised that patients diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer should be tested for biomarkers related to microsatellite instability. It is also good to do the test early for anyone who already has their tumour tissues. For doctors, it is good to notify their patients about biomarkers and after that, it is up to all patients whether they want to do it or not..
FUTURE OF BIOMARKERS
People are interested in different kinds of biomarkers, and it still needs more research on discovering new types of markers. At present, Cancer Treatment is revolving around Chemotherapy and it does terrible damages on patients’ bodies. However, now that we are moving forward with biomarkers which are microbiological tools, it might be able to direct Cancer Treatment to the right direction for a better result in the future.
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