Biomarker research has been a focal point in advancing cancer diagnostics and therapeutic solutions. Biomarker testing involves assessing biological markers that can provide crucial information about health and disease conditions. Test biomarkers dictate how some therapeutics may work against cancer. Besides, biomarker assay services and biomarker testing services help clinicians assess treatment options against cancer and may also assist in diagnosing and monitoring cancer progression.
Bioavailability assays and bioequivalence studies are necessary components of drug development projects. Bioequivalence definition: Bioavailability and bioequivalence CROs focus on bringing safe yet effective drugs to the patient population. Besides, in vitro and in vivo bioequivalence approaches dictate the fate of generic drug products. Particularly in vivo bioequivalence studies are highly prioritized during generic drug development. However, irrespective of the pharmaceutical drug product, today most drug development programs comprise biomarker testing to some extent. Hence, the current article focuses on the role of biomarker testing in cancer treatment.
How can biomarker testing help clinicians select cancer treatment?
Biomarkers are critical for selecting an appropriate treatment option for cancer patients. Some therapies, such as immunotherapy and targeted therapies, may only benefit patients with specific biomarkers. For example, cancer patients with changes in the EGFR gene may benefit from EGFR inhibitor treatment. Biomarker testing help clinicians confirm whether the patient shows any genetic changes in the EGFR gene.
Biomarker testing may also help you find clinical trials for newer cancer treatments. Some clinical trials choose patients based on specific biomarkers instead of the type of cancer. These types of clinical trials are also called basket trials. Moreover, biomarker testing is also a part of clinical trials. For example, biomarkers are used to allocate patients to a specific treatment based on changes in their cancer.
How are test biomarkers used for cancer?
Biomarker testing for cancer begins with testing the cancer cells. In the case of solid tumors, a sample is taken during the surgery for analysis. If the patient is not having surgery, a tumor biopsy is taken for assessment. For blood cancer or biopsies that can’t be safely acquired, clinicians take blood for liquid biopsy.
The cancer sample is then sent to the laboratory for biomarker testing. The test may provide results highlighting the biomarkers in the cancerous cells and recommend treatment options based on biomarker testing. Some tests may also require a sample of healthy cells for genetic analysis. Usually, saliva, blood, or skin is collected to assess cancer cells with healthy cells and identify any somatic mutations. Somatic mutations are the primary reason for most cancers.
Types of biomarker tests
There are numerous types of biomarker tests for cancer research. Most biomarker tests for cancer assess genetic markers. However, other biomarker tests analyze proteins and other biological markers. Besides, some tests look for a single biomarker, while some may assess multiple biomarkers. For example, an Oncotype DX test assesses 21 genes to evaluate the possibility of chemotherapy for breast cancer.
In conclusion, biomarker testing is vital in cancer diagnosis and treatment.