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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Jun;1770(6):847-56. Epub 2007 Feb 12.

Biomarkers for early detection of breast cancer: what, when, and where?

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Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 710 N. Fairbanks Ct., Olson, 8-424, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


Early detection of breast cancer reduces the suffering and cost to society associated with the disease. A sensitive assay to identify biomarkers that can accurately diagnose the onset of breast cancer using non-invasively collected clinical specimens is ideal for early detection. The earlier and more accurate the diagnostic biomarker can predict disease onset, the more valuable it becomes. Here, a brief review of existing and emerging approaches for breast cancer biomarker identification and analysis is presented. Those biomarkers found in biological fluids, blood in particular, apparently hold the best promise for fast development of screening assays. Autoantibodies and abnormal tumor-specific DNA methylation found in cell-free plasma DNA may provide the best opportunity for constructing multiplexed and highly redundant tests, which will be sufficiently specific and sensitive for early detection of breast cancer. It is expected that technologies developed for breast cancer detection will be useful for other types of cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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