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Ther Drug Monit. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:S80-92. doi: 10.1097/FTD.0000000000000230.

Analytical Aspects of the Implementation of Biomarkers in Clinical Transplantation.

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*Klinikum Stuttgart, Zentralinstitut für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsmedizin, Stuttgart, Germany; †Pharmacology and Toxicology, Biomedical Diagnostic Center, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, University of Barcelona, Spain; ‡CHU Limoges, Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmacovigilance, Limoges, France; §Servicio de Enfermedades Hepáticas Centro Nacional de Trasplante Hepático, Hospital Central de las Fuerzas Armadas, Montevideo, Uruguay; ¶Department of Nephrology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany; and ‖iC42 Clinical Research & Development, University of Colorado, Aurora.


In response to the urgent need for new reliable biomarkers to complement the guidance of the immunosuppressive therapy, a huge number of biomarker candidates to be implemented in clinical practice have been introduced to the transplant community. This includes a diverse range of molecules with very different molecular weights, chemical and physical properties, ex vivo stabilities, in vivo kinetic behaviors, and levels of similarity to other molecules, etc. In addition, a large body of different analytical techniques and assay protocols can be used to measure biomarkers. Sometimes, a complex software-based data evaluation is a prerequisite for appropriate interpretation of the results and for their reporting. Although some analytical procedures are of great value for research purposes, they may be too complex for implementation in a clinical setting. Whereas the proof of "fitness for purpose" is appropriate for validation of biomarker assays used in exploratory drug development studies, a higher level of analytical validation must be achieved and eventually advanced analytical performance might be necessary before diagnostic application in transplantation medicine. A high level of consistency of results between laboratories and between methods (if applicable) should be obtained and maintained to make biomarkers effective instruments in support of therapeutic decisions. This overview focuses on preanalytical and analytical aspects to be considered for the implementation of new biomarkers for adjusting immunosuppression in a clinical setting and highlights critical points to be addressed on the way to make them suitable as diagnostic tools. These include but are not limited to appropriate method validation, standardization, education, automation, and commercialization.

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