Several statistical and biological issues need to be addressed in order to improve biomarker identification for early detection of cancer, according to a commentary published online July 2 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The biomarker pipeline to develop and evaluate cancer screening tests includes the identification of promising biomarkers to detect cancers early and the initial and definitive evaluation of biomarkers for cancer screening.
In the commentary, Stuart G. Baker, ScD, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., discusses the various ways to improve this pipeline, including the need for more frequent specimen collection to help identify promising biomarkers and the use of the paired availability design, in which data are collected on the number of interval cases associated with screening in time periods before and after the introduction of the new biomarker test.
"…[S]ome important design and analysis considerations related to this biomarker pipeline have been underappreciated, insufficiently disseminated, or not previously discussed," the author writes. "By taking these considerations into account, researchers can improve this biomarker pipeline."
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute (news : web)