Biomarkers are how cancers give up their secrets

Animated by Hannah Folz. Click here for transcript. (video link)

We’re kicking off a new video series focusing on science, and we’re starting with the science of cancer treatment. There are a lot more options for cancer treatment than there used to be, but new treatments are often more effective because they only work in specific situations. Matching up patients with the treatments that fit them best is one of the things being unlocked by advances in biomarker testing.

Biomarkers are genetic variations, proteins, or chemicals produced by cells that can tell you about the internal workings of a cancer or how the body is responding to it. By measuring these things in cancer tissue samples or even in blood or urine, it’s possible to detect or identify cancers, generate a prognosis, and determine which treatment has the highest chance of success.

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