Provista Blog > Why We Love Protein Biomarkers (And You Should, Too!)
To streamline clinical decision making, a novel molecular approach is needed to complement current imaging techniques and allow for early breast cancer detection at a precise level. Tumors become invasive due to numerous cellular changes. The ability to detect these 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.
A biomarker, as defined by the National Cancer Institute, is a "biological molecule found in the blood, other bodily fluids, or tissue that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, a condition, or disease." Biomarkers are produced both by normal cells and cancer cells, but are often up-regulated or misregulated in cancer.
Cancer biomarkers are associated with multiple stages of disease progression and therefore, may play a significant role in clinical decision making across the continuum of care. By analyzing biomarkers, diagnostic tests may be able to provide information about early tumor development to detect breast cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage.
Healthy cells have processes to correct most DNA abnormalities before mutant proteins can be made. In cases where tumor cells have misregulated proteomics, the protein biomarkers can often be detected in bodily fluids (such as blood, serum, urine, etc.). A liquid biopsy approach complements current standard-of-care imaging technologies by providing an extra layer of information to improve detection based on real-time disease status.
Protein biomarkers provide valuable information to help detect the presence or absence of breast cancer. To truly identify the presence or absence of breast cancer, we need to understand the signal that each biomarker sends, and combined with other biomarkers, can interpret coherent messages from that combination of biomarkers. To put it simply, biomarkers are like the letters in the alphabet. By assessing all the letters present we can unscramble the message for a signal as to the presence or absence of breast cancer. To learn more about protein biomarkers and their role in early breast cancer detection, check out our free eBook.
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.