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J Transl Med. 2009 Oct 14;7:87. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-7-87.

Translating molecular medicine into clinical tools: doomed to fail by neglecting basic preanalytical principles.

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  • 1Department of Urology, Charit√© - Universit√§tsmedizin Berlin, Campus Mitte, Schumannstr. 20/21, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


This commentary discusses a study on measurements of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in serum of pseudoxanthoma elasticum patients recently published in Journal of Molecular Medicine. This study can be considered the typical "obstacle" to effective translational medicine as previously documented in JTM journal. Although serum has been frequently proven as inappropriate sample for determining numerous circulating MMPs, among them MMP-9, there are over and over again studies, as in this case, that measure MMP-9 in serum. Comparative measurements in serum and plasma samples demonstrated higher concentrations for MMP-9 in serum due to the additional release from leukocytes and platelets following the coagulation/fibrinolysis process. From this example it can be concluded that translating basic research discoveries into clinical tools needs a more intensive exchange between basic biomedical research and clinical scientists already in an early stage. Otherwise a lost of translation, as discussed in JTM journal, seems to be inevitable.

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