Biomarkers and surrogacy: relevance to chemoprevention.

T. W. Kensler, N. E. Davidson, J. D. Groopman, A. Muñoz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Clinical cancer prevention trials that use disease as the end-point are of necessity large, lengthy and costly. While such trials will always remain the 'gold standard' for establishing efficacy, they are unwieldy and inefficient for the rapid translation of our accelerating understanding of the molecular basis of cancer into preventive strategies. The inclusion of biomarkers in the process of chemopreventive agent development is crucial for the advancement of the field. This overview highlights the types of approach that are being used in the development and application of biomarkers in chemoprevention studies. Biomarkers, which measure exposure, susceptibility or risk factors, can be used in selecting study cohorts, assessing participant compliance and/or determining agent efficacy. Key features of biomarkers include reliability, precision, accuracy and validity. Not all biomarkers are suitable for all purposes and are likely to be imperfect in any single setting. Judicious selection and matching of biomarkers with agents and study cohorts is required for their effective utilization. A critical but non-dichotomous element of risk biomarkers is their degree of surrogacy. A classification scheme is provided that relates the degree of surrogacy of risk biomarkers to their utility in preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalIARC scientific publications
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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