Special Perspectives

Cancer Biomarkers—An Invitation to the Table

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Science  26 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5777, pp. 1165-1168
DOI: 10.1126/science.1125948

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The allure of the emerging genomic technologies in cancer is their ability to generate new biomarkers that predict how individual cancer patients will respond to various treatments. However, productive implementation of cancer biomarkers into patient care will require fundamental changes in how we consider approvals for cancer indications and how we track patient responses. Here we briefly describe ongoing efforts to identify and to validate cancer biomarkers, discuss the technological hurdles that lie ahead, and then focus on the more pressing political and cultural issues that, if left unheeded, could derail many of the anticipated benefits of biomarker research.

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