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Biomarkers and Diagnosis of Diseases

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Biotechnology-products | Submitted: 2010-06-29 01:09:18
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Article Summary: "Biomarkers are the specific structures which are used in the detection of diseases. They have been playing an important part in the drug development and diagnosis of diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's..."


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Biomarkers are the specific physical units which are used to see that how the disease or illness is progressing in the body. They measure and indicate the effects of diseases.

Diagnosis of Diseases with Biomarkers:-
Biomarkers can be used for variety of purposes like some biomarkers indicate the presence of organisms in the body. They see if these organisms are present or they no longer exist. For example, antibody is such biomarker which detects certain antigens in the body which are causing diseases and then block their activity. Antibodies are produced within the human body by the immune system.

Biomarkers are also used to detect and observe specific diseases in the body for example cancer. Their function is to differentiate the desired cells and target them. Biomarkers are used for this purpose in the form of tags. When they target the desired cells in the body, they can easily be identified because of these tags.

Biomarkers can also be used to see the effects of drugs in the body. The drugs are usually administered in the body to eliminate dangerous toxins or diseases from the human body. When the drug is administered in the body in the form of biomarkers then scientists can easily observe that what changes that drug is making in the body.

As cancer is developed due to the genetic mutation in the body, so specific biomarkers are used to detect that in which part of the chromosome, the mutation has occurred. The disease susceptibility can also be tested with the biomarkers.

In medicine, biomarkers have many uses. If scientists transplant new organs in the human body, biomarkers are of great help to see if the organ is accepted by the immune system or if the organ is working properly. They can also differentiate that which processes are working normally in the body and which are diseased processes.

If the complex organ functions are concerned or simple biological processes are under observation, for both reasons biomarkers are used. For example during fever, when the temperature of the body increases, it is also a biomarker.

If a person is suffering from a disease for which he has to take medicines for many years, then biomarkers play an important role in determining whether the drug is functioning properly or it is causing any side effects. Biomarkers can be anything from simple to complex which can be helpful in giving information about a particular disease. For example if doctors take blood sample, sample of urine or any other substance, then the components which are extracted from these samples, they all act as biomarkers because they are giving information about a particular disease.

Molecular biomarkers are the type of biomarkers which makes sure that the diagnosis of disease becomes efficient. Then treatment of the disease can easily be started. When the biomarkers are used in oncology, then they give many therapeutic drugs which are being used against cancer treatment. For example, a drug Herceptin or HER2 is the first humanized antibody which is being used for the treatment of matstatic breast cancer. This dug acts as a biomarker. The main function of this drug is to block the function of the cancerous cells.

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