OMICS-based personalized oncology: if it is worth doing, it is worth doing well!
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BMC Medicine 2013, 11:221 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-11-221Published: 17 October 2013
The era of Personalized Medicine implies getting the right treatment to the right patient at the right schedule and dose at the right time. Tumor biomarker tests are keys to accomplishing this goal successfully. However, much of the translational research regarding tumor biomarker tests has been haphazard, often using data and specimen sets of convenience and ignoring many of the principles of the scientific method. In papers published simultaneously in BMC Medicine and Nature, McShane and colleagues have proposed a checklist of criteria that should be followed by investigators planning to conduct prospective clinical trials directed towards generating high levels of evidence to demonstrate whether a tumor biomarker test has clinical utility for a specific context. These criteria were generated in response to a roadmap reported by a committee convened by the U.S. Institute of Medicine for generation of omics-based biomarker tests. Taken together with several other initiatives to increase the rigor of tumor biomarker research, these criteria will increase the perception of value for tumor biomarker test research and application in the clinic.