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New Development of Biomarkers for Gastrointestinal Cancers: From Neoplastic Cells to Tumor Microenvironment

Departments of Oncology and Surgery, the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the Pancreatic Cancer Precision Medicine Center of Excellence Program, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA
Merck Research Laboratory, Merck & Co., Kenilworth, NJ 07033, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomedicines 2018, 6(3), 87;
Received: 5 June 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Biomarkers and Targets in Digestive Organs)
PDF [604 KB, uploaded 13 August 2018]


Biomarkers refer to a plethora of biological characteristics that can be quantified to facilitate cancer diagnosis, forecast the prognosis of disease, and predict a response to treatment. The identification of objective biomarkers is among the most crucial steps in the realization of individualized cancer care. Several tumor biomarkers for gastrointestinal malignancies have been applied in the clinical setting to help differentiate between cancer and other conditions, facilitate patient selection for targeted therapies, and to monitor treatment response and recurrence. With the coming of the immunotherapy age, the need for a new development of biomarkers that are indicative of the immune response to tumors are unprecedentedly urgent. Biomarkers from the tumor microenvironment, tumor genome, and signatures from liquid biopsies have been explored, but the majority have shown a limited prognostic or predictive value as single biomarkers. Nevertheless, use of multiplex biomarkers has the potential to provide a significantly increased diagnostic accuracy compared to traditional single biomarker. A comprehensive analysis of immune-biomarkers is needed to reveal the dynamic and multifaceted anti-tumor immunity and thus imply for the rational design of assays and combinational strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomarker; gastrointestinal malignancies; immunotherapy biomarker; gastrointestinal malignancies; immunotherapy

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Zhang, J.; Quadri, S.; Wolfgang, C.L.; Zheng, L. New Development of Biomarkers for Gastrointestinal Cancers: From Neoplastic Cells to Tumor Microenvironment. Biomedicines 2018, 6, 87.

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