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Tracking Biomarker Trends Still a Big Problem

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GenomeWeb published an article today about the connection between BRCA2 and prostate tumors.  As always, a clear connection between a biomarker like BRCA2 and a disease area is good for the future of personalized medicine.  It will allow us to better tailor therapies to individuals with certain genome traits.

This study, however, gives the impression that the link between BRCA2 and prostate cancer is novel.  When we reviewed what we are tracking in BiomarkerBase it was clear that the connection between BRCA2 and prostate cancer is well-established.  Specifically, we are tracking 14 lab-developed tests for BRCA2 that include prostate cancer in the indications for use.  We are also tracking two clinical trials for prostate cancer that are using BRCA2 as part of the inclusion criteria.

The first publication describing a clinical study for prostate cancer in which BRCA2 was measured was published over twenty years ago, and the number of publications annually describing this biomarker have grown appreciably since then.

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While we always applaud researchers for advancing the study of biomarkers in new disease areas we also want to see effective data sharing to more quickly advance the promise of personalized medicine.

Data sharing and data access are critical.