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Biomarker (medicine)

In medicine, a biomarker is an indicator of a particular disease state or a particular state of an organism.

An NIH study group committed to the following definition in 1998: "a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biologic processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention." [1]

In the past, biomarkers were primarily physiological indicators such as blood pressure or heart rate. More recently, biomarker is becoming a synonym for molecular biomarker, such as elevated prostate specific antigen as a molecular biomarker for prostate cancer. Biomarkers also cover the use of molecular indicators of environmental exposure in epidemiologic studies such as human papilloma virus or certain markers of tobacco exposure such as 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK).


  1. ^ Biomarkers and surrogate endpoints: preferred definitions and conceptual framework. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Volume 69, Issue 3, March 2001, Pages 89-95 (2001). Retrieved on April 1, 2006.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Biomarker_(medicine)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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