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Biomarkers in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: confusing or useful?

Authors Stockley RA

Received 1 November 2013

Accepted for publication 2 December 2013

Published 7 February 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 163—177

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S42362

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Robert A Stockley

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Lung Function and Sleep Department, Birmingham, UK


Abstract: The field of biomarker research has almost reached unmanageable proportions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The developments of new technology platforms have generated a huge information data base, both cross sectionally and increasingly, longitudinally. The knowledge emerging provides an enormous potential for understanding the disease pathophysiology, for developing markers specific for long-term outcomes, and for developing new therapeutic strategies. However, the excitement must be tempered with an understanding of the limitations of the data collection techniques, and of the variations in disease state, activity, impact, and progression. Nevertheless, the most crucial aspect in interpreting the current literature is the recognition of the relatively superficial characterization of what is a complex group of pathological processes with a common end point of airflow limitation. The current review explores some of these issues together with those areas where real progress appears to have been made, and provides caution on interpretation.

Keyword: emphysema, inflammation, secretions, technology platforms


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