Irmgard Riedmaier, Melanie Spornraft, Benedikt Kirchner and Michael W. Pfaffl
Technical University of Munich
European Pharmaceutical Review VOLUME 20 ISSUE 6 2015
Molecular diagnostics and biomarker discovery are gaining increasing attraction in clinical research. This includes all fields of diagnostics, such as risk assessment, disease prognosis, treatment prediction and drug application success control1,2. The detection of molecular clinical biomarkers is very widespread and can be developed on various molecular levels, like the genome, the epi-genome, the transcriptome, the proteome or the metabolome. Today, numerous high-throughput laboratory methods allow rapid and holistic screening for such marker candidates. Regardless of which molecular level is analysed, in order to detect biomarker candidates, high sample quality and a standardised and highly reproducible quantification workflow are prerequisites. This article describes an optimal and approved development strategy to discover and validate ‘transcriptional biomarkers’ in clinical diagnostics, which are in compliance with the recently developed MIQE guidelines3. We focus on the importance of sample quality, RNA integrity, available screening and quantification methods, and biostatistical tools for data interpretation.