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Provista Blog > Why Protein Biomarkers Are the Key to Improving Cancer Detection

Provista Blog

Why Protein Biomarkers Are the Key to Improving Cancer Detection

Posted by Provista Diagnostics on October 3, 2016

The ability to detect early warning signals of cancer in the bloodstream, called "biomarkers," poses significant promise for the early detection of breast cancer. Theoretically, very small tumors can be detected long before they are visible on imaging, which typically requires a tumor to be greater than 5mm in size to definitively identify the tumor.

To streamline clinical decision making, a novel molecular approach is needed as a complement to current imaging techniques and to allow for precise cancer detection.


Cancer biomarkers are associated with multiple stages during disease progression and therefore, may play a significant role in clinical decision making across the continuum of care. Diagnostic tests can analyze biomarkers to provide information about early tumor development. 


Proteins are essential for cellular function making them more complex, diverse, dynamic and reflective of cellular physiology than genes. For this reason, protein biomarkers have emerged as a powerful technology to decipher biological processes and pathophysiology of cancer.

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To truly identify the presence or absence of cancer, we need to understand the signal each biomarker sends and combined with other biomarkers, can interpret coherent messages from that combination of biomarkers. Simply put: biomarkers are similar to letters in the alphabet. We need to assess all the letters present then unscramble the message for a clear signal as to the presence or absence of cancer. 

Understanding the functionality of each biomarker, its relationship to the other biomarkers can help provide a better picture of combining biomarkers to create comprehensive protein signatures. 

Learn more about the role protein biomarkers can play in breast cancer detection by downloading our guide here.

Have additional thoughts or insights on utilizing biomarkers for cancer detection? Leave us a comment in the section below!

Provista Diagnostics

Provista Diagnostics

At Provista Diagnostics, our mission is to develop world-class diagnostic tests for indications in breast and gynecologic cancers. As a leading diagnostics company, our aim is to create, produce and market innovative solutions for unmet clinical needs. Our products and services help to diagnose diseases and inform better clinical decisions, thus enhancing women’s health and quality of life. We do this in a responsible and ethical manner with a commitment to excellence in every aspect of our business.