What is a biomarker?

Tom Edwards, Sutton, England

22 December 2021

Biomarker Testing is part of a group of medical testing methods that help scientists determine the current state of someone’s health. It monitors abnormalities in biological tissues, cells, and molecules. Biomarkers are also used to detect diseases like cancer early on; they can help illustrate an individual’s risk for developing a disease or be used as potential therapeutic targets for treatment. Biomarker discovery services provide a framework for biomarker testing.


What is a Biomarker? What is Biomarker Testing?

A biomarker is a substance found inside the body that can help determine how healthy or sick an individual is. For example, a biomarker for lung cancer in an individual might be an abnormal growth factor in the blood. A marker for kidney disease might be protein levels in urine samples. Biomarker testing is a type of test that can help doctors determine the state of someone’s health clinically. Tests like this are critical in lung cancer treatment because they can help diagnose and quantify the progress of the disease through treatment.


  • Biomarkers are an essential tool for monitoring and treating lung cancer.
  • Biomarker testing can help doctors monitor a patient’s progress to determine whether or not the treatment is effective.
  • It can also measure how well a particular medication works in specific patients.
  • Biomarkers can help doctors predict how lung cancer patients respond to certain medications and treatment techniques.
  • The results of biomarker tests are often decisive for many cancer biopsies and treatments, such as PET/CT scans or even surgery.
  • Biomarkers can be used to determine how well individual cancer treatments are working for a particular patient and to track the effectiveness of new treatment options.

When is Biomarker Testing Appropriate?

Biomarker testing is often used to monitor lung cancer patients undergoing treatment for the disease. Some of the reasons that doctors may recommend biopsy and local tumor resection as part of a lung cancer treatment plan include:


  • If a patient’s condition is not responding to other treatments, doctors may use biomarker tests to help determine which treatments are working and which are not.
  • Biomarker testing helps with the choice of individual and group protocols for lung cancer treatment. For example, doctors can monitor a patient’s response to a particular treatment or drug by examining a biomarker test with other monitoring tools such as PET scans and computed tomography (CT) scans.

How is Biomarker Testing Done?

Biomarkers are usually extracted from tissue, blood, urine, and other bodily fluids. A test for a particular biomarker is performed by taking a sample from an individual and analyzing it for changes or abnormalities in the biomarker. There are many different types of tests to measure biomarkers; doctors will use the specific method most appropriate to their situation.

The biomarker testing tool

Biomarker testing is a tool that can be used in conjunction with other tests to help determine the efficacy of treatments for lung cancer. If a doctor determines that a patient has a progressive condition and little hope for recovering, any potential future treatments are thoroughly considered. Biomarkers can also be used to help predict how a patient may respond to certain medications or treatment techniques, helping doctors make optimal decisions about those options.


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