What are Biomarkers?
Biomarker is a generic term used for any substance that can indicate the changes in the normal biological processes. For example, increased cholesterol level is a biomarker for heart related diseases.
Different diseases have different biomarkers. When people become ill, changes in biomarker levels may occur before any clinical symptoms or signs become apparent. Doctors commonly look for biomarkers in urine and blood samples in order to find any changes in normal processes.
Measuring biomarkers in blood or urine is simple, safe and may help the doctor diagnose which disease the patient has, determine how severe it is, help choose the best treatment and monitor whether the disease is getting better or worse.Protein biomarkers in body fluids are now being regularly identified using new techniques. However, in order to be implemented into the NHS, biomarkers must be rigorously and widely tested before they are deemed valid for specific medical uses.
Can we identify more complex diseases like cancer using Biomarkers?
Testing human fluids such as urine and blood is necessary to understand how the human body works normally and what changes when things go wrong. We are currently carrying out research into several diseases. These include diseases involving the kidney such as renal (kidney) cancer and kidney transplantation. The main purpose of this research is to develop new clinical tests that can identify measurable changes in proteins (biomarkers) in patient samples. These biomarker tests may be used to improve patient care such as helping to diagnose disease earlier or in deciding which drug is having the best effect in a patient.
Can I get involved?
If you would like to get involved or would like to know more about the programme please contact the programme manager.