112 pages | 6 x 9
Research has long sought to identify biomarkers that could detect cancer at an early stage, or predict the optimal cancer therapy for specific patients. Fueling interest in this research are recent technological advances in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics that can enable researchers to capture the molecular fingerprints of specific cancers and fine-tune their classification according to the molecular defects they harbor. The discovery and development of new markers of cancer could potentially improve cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment. Given the potential impact cancer biomarkers could have on the cost effectiveness of cancer detection and treatment, they could profoundly alter the economic burden of cancer as well.
Despite the promise of cancer biomarkers, few biomarker-based cancer tests have entered the market, and the translation of research findings on cancer biomarkers into clinically useful tests seems to be lagging. This is perhaps not surprising given the technical, financial, regulatory, and social challenges linked to the discovery, development, validation, and incorporation of biomarker tests into clinical practice.
To explore those challenges and ways to overcome them, the National Cancer Policy Forum held the conference "Developing Biomarker-Based Tools for Cancer Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment: The State of the Science, Evaluation, Implementation, and Economics" in Washington, D.C., from March 20 to 22, 2006.
At this conference, experts gave presentations in one of six sessions. In addition, seven small group discussions explored the policy implications surrounding biomarker development and adoption into clinical practice. Developing Biomarker-based Tools for Developing Cancer Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment: The State of the Science, Evaluation, Implementation, and Economics-Workshop Summary presents the conference proceedings and will be used by an Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee to develop consensus-based recommendations for moving the field of cancer biomarkers forward.