A prognostic biomarker predicts the future outcome of a patient, regardless of treatment, and a predictive biomarker helps foreseeing the effectiveness of a therapeutic intervention.
A prognostic biomarker predicts the future outcome of a patient, regardless of treatment, and a predictive biomarker helps foresee the effectiveness of a therapeutic intervention.
Biomarkers are biological signatures that can be objectively measured and evaluated as indicators of normal living, pathogenic processes, or pharmacological responses to therapeutic interventions. Prognostic biomarkers can be powerful tools for predicting disease outcomes and tailoring treatment. They can provide important insights into the development of diseases, helping with risk assessment and treatment planning.
Through the examination of genetic mutations, gene expression patterns, and protein profiles, medical professionals can predict disease severity and estimate patient survival rates. As an example, for breast cancer, the presence of hormone receptors (such as estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor) and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status, are used to determine the prognosis and guide treatment choices.
Prognostic biomarkers are also used to tailor specific treatment strategies to ensure that interventions are personalized and optimized. These biomarkers help identifying patients who are more likely to benefit from specific therapies, minimizing unnecessary treatments and potential side effects. For instance, the identification of genetic mutations, such as BCR-ABL in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), guides the use of targeted therapies like tyrosine kinase inhibitors, resulting in improved patient outcomes.
During clinical trial design, prognostic biomarkers allow for more efficient and targeted investigations. By identifying patients with a higher likelihood of disease progression or treatment response, these biomarkers enable the selection of appropriate study cohorts, enhancing the statistical power and cost-effectiveness of clinical trials. Furthermore, prognostic biomarkers in trial design facilitate the identification of predictive biomarkers, paving the way for precision medicine.