Protein Biomarker Discovery: Reflection
Wilmarie Morales Soto
During the seminar, Lysandra Santiago, emphasized that the need for biomarkers to
identify several diseases is increasing because they can help detect them at an earlier state and
therefore allow patients to get better treatment. Unfortunately the identification of biomarkers
is very difficult. Several techniques have been developed for biomarker detection such as, mass
spectrometry, liquid chromatography, and shotgun proteomics, amongst others. These
techniques, though very accurate, have an outstanding amount of variable which are difficult to
control. The problem with these results is that, when examining the data, it is very challenging
to determine what potential biomarkers have any value.
To eliminate a few of these variables, scientists began developing new ways to identify
these proteins. They began experimenting with and combining several methods together.
These experiments were successful in that they were able to eliminate a significant amount of
the variables that presented a problem, but on the other hand they discarded so many
variables that they might be eliminating essential information.
Biomarker detection technology is one that must continue to advance, for it is far from
perfect. “It is time to evaluate the entire process right from sample accusation to bioinformic
analysis with the aim to implement and develop innovative strategies that will lead us to the
ultimate goal of routine biomarker discovery”(Santiago 2011). We cannot deny the importance
of biomarkers for the advancement in all medical sciences. Using biomarkers to detect certain
diseases early on, like cancer for example, can help improve treatments and, evidently, save