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Blood Molecular Biomarkers in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Joven Q. Tanchuco

Abstract


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) remains a global and local health problem. In contrast to cardiovascular diseases and strokes, which are declining as a cause of mortality, deaths due to COPD in many parts of the Western world are still expected to increase in the next several years. Identification and validation of biological markers, which will help us treat patients with COPD, could be an important component in addressing this problem. Biomarkers for COPD are expected to deal with two main and often overlapping needs: to identify a COPD patient at high risk for developing acute exacerbations and/or those with high risk of dying. By doing so, appropriate management can be instituted early and aggressively. As an additional benefit, it is also anticipated that such biomarkers can support the development of new drug targets and/or evaluate new interventions for the treatment of COPD.

This review focused on the molecular biomarkers derived from blood or serum. They appear to be the most promising in the local setting, since they are more easily obtained from a patient and possible to measure in many of our local laboratories. With the currently available data, plasma fibrinogen, and to a lesser extent, C-reactive protein (CRP), offer the most potential for identifying COPD patients at high risk of developing acute exacerbations and/or dying from the disease. Other biomarkers were also mentioned and discussed in this review because some studies indicated that combinations of several of these biomarkers could provide greater utility than the same biomarkers used individually.


Keywords


COPD; COPD Biological markers; COPD pathogenesis; COPD treatment; COPD clinical trials

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