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Biomarkers in reproductive medicine: the promise, and can it be fulfilled?

, : Biomarkers in reproductive medicine: the promise, and can it be fulfilled?. Fertility and Sterility 99(4): 954-962

A biomarker can be used for early diagnosis of a disease, identification of individuals for disease prevention, as a potential drug target, or as a potential marker for a drug response. A biomarker may also limit the use of drug (and therefore costs) to the population of patients for which the drug will be safe and efficacious. A biomarker in reproduction could be used to improve assessment of exposure, identify subgroups susceptible to treatment, predict outcome, and/or differentiate subgroups with potentially different etiologies of disease. Despite many potential uses there is low participation in reproductive biology to develop molecular biomarkers, which may be directly related to the low number of new molecular entities entering clinical trials. As the number of candidate markers in reproductive medicine is increasing, it is important to understand the pathway of development from discovery to clinical utility and recognize that the vast majority of potential markers will not be clinically useful, owing to a variety of pitfalls. Extensive testing, validation, and modification needs to be performed before a biomarker is demonstrated to have clinical utility. New opportunities and partnerships exist and should hasten the development of biomarkers in reproduction. As more biomarkers are moved into practice, a better-educated biomarker consumer will enhance the possibility that biomarker(s) will realize their great potential.


PMID: 23246448

DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2012.11.019

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