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Theories of signs define a novel approach to the analysis of clinical biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-09, 11:46 authored by Pietro Ghezzi, Kevin DaviesKevin Davies, Aidan Delaney, Luciano Floridi
Biomarkers are widely used not only as prognostic or diagnostic indicators, or as surrogate markers of disease in clinical trials, but also to formulate theories of pathogenesis. We identify two problems in the use of biomarkers in mechanistic studies. The first problem arises in the case of multifactorial diseases, where different combinations of multiple causes result in patient heterogeneity. The second problem arises when a pathogenic mediator is difficult to measure. This is the case of the oxidative stress (OS) theory of disease where the causal components are reactive oxygen species (ROS) that have very short half-lives. In this case, it is usual measure the traces left by the reaction of ROS with biological molecules, rather than the ROS themselves. Borrowing from the philosophical theories of signs, we look at the different facets of biomarkers and discuss their different value and meaning in multifactorial diseases and system medicine, to inform their use in patient stratification in personalized medicine.

History

Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version

Journal

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

ISSN

0027-8424

Publisher

National Academy of Sciences

Issue

10

Volume

115

Page range

2473-2477

Department affiliated with

  • Clinical and Experimental Medicine Publications

Full text available

  • Yes

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date

2018-02-21

First Open Access (FOA) Date

2018-08-20

First Compliant Deposit (FCD) Date

2018-01-26

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