Translating genomic biomarkers into clinically useful diagnostics.
The landmark sequencing of the human genome has ushered in a new field of large-scale research. Advances in understanding the molecular basis of disease have opened up new opportunities to develop genomics-based tools to diagnose, predict disease onset or recurrence, tailor treatment options, and assess treatment response. Although still in the early stages of research and development, genomic biomarker research has the capability of providing a comprehensive insight into pathophysiological processes as well as more precise predictors of outcome not previously attainable with traditional biomarkers. Before genomic biomarkers are incorporated into clinical practice, several issues will need to be addressed in order to generate the necessary levels of evidence to demonstrate analytical and clinical validity and utility. In addition, efforts will be needed to educate health professionals and the public about genomics-based tools, revise regulatory oversight mechanisms, and ensure privacy safeguards of the information generated from these new tests.
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