Genomic advances and their impact on clinical trial design

Genome Med. 2009 Jul 13;1(7):69. doi: 10.1186/gm69.


Medical treatment for patients has historically been based on two primary elements: the expected outcome for the patient, and the ability of treatment to improve the expected outcome. The advance in genomic technologies has the potential to change this paradigm and add substantial value to current medical practice by providing an integrated approach to guide patient-specific treatment selection using the genetic make-up of the disease and the genotype of the patient. Specifically, genomic signatures can aid in patient stratification (risk assessment), treatment response identification (surrogate markers), and/or in differential diagnosis (identifying who is likely to respond to which drug(s)). Several critical issues, including scientific rationale, clinical trial design, marker assessment methods, cost and feasibility have to be carefully considered in the validation of biomarkers through clinical research before they can be routinely integrated into clinical practice. Here, we highlight the impact of genomic advances on various aspects of clinical trial design.

Publication types

  • Editorial