Biomarkers (short for biological markers) are biological measures of a biological state. By definition, a biomarker is "a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes or pharmacological responses to a therapeutic intervention." Examples of biomarkers include everything from pulse and blood pressure through basic chemistries to more complex laboratory tests of blood and other tissues. Biomarkers are useful in a number of ways, including measuring the progress of disease, evaluating the most effective therapeutic regimes for a particular cancer
type, and establishing long-term susceptibility to cancer
or its recurrence. The parameter can be chemical, physical or biological. Biomarkers may be produced by the cancer
tissue itself or by other cells
in the body in response to cancer. They can be found in the blood, stool, urine, tumor
tissue, or other tissues or bodily fluids. Notably, biomarkers are not limited to cancer.
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