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Metabolites 2018, 8(4), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo8040059

A Framework for Development of Useful Metabolomic Biomarkers and Their Effective Knowledge Translation

1
Faculty of Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
2
Department of Oncology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
3
Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Research Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
4
Department of Surgery, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 27 September 2018 / Accepted: 28 September 2018 / Published: 30 September 2018
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Abstract

Despite the significant advantages of metabolomic biomarkers, no diagnostic tests based on metabolomics have been introduced to clinical use. There are many reasons for this, centered around substantial obstacles in developing clinically useful metabolomic biomarkers. Most significant is the need for interdisciplinary teams with expertise in metabolomics, analysis of complex clinical and metabolomic data, and clinical care. Importantly, the clinical need must precede biomarker discovery, and the experimental design for discovery and validation must reflect the purpose of the biomarker. Standard operating procedures for procuring and handling samples must be developed from the beginning, to ensure experimental integrity. Assay design is another challenge, as there is not much precedent informing this. Another obstacle is that it is not yet clear how to protect any intellectual property related to metabolomic biomarkers. Viewing a metabolomic biomarker as a natural phenomenon would inhibit patent protection and potentially stifle commercial interest. However, demonstrating that a metabolomic biomarker is actually a derivative of a natural phenomenon that requires innovation would enhance investment in this field. Finally, effective knowledge translation strategies must be implemented, which will require engagement with end users (clinicians and lab physicians), patient advocate groups, policy makers, and payer organizations. Addressing each of these issues comprises the framework for introducing a metabolomic biomarker to practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolomics; biomarkers; knowledge translation metabolomics; biomarkers; knowledge translation
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Marchand, C.R.; Farshidfar, F.; Rattner, J.; Bathe, O.F. A Framework for Development of Useful Metabolomic Biomarkers and Their Effective Knowledge Translation. Metabolites 2018, 8, 59.

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