The impact of storage effects in biobanks on biomarker discovery in systems biology studies

Biomarkers. 2010 Dec;15(8):677-83. doi: 10.3109/1354750X.2010.511265. Epub 2010 Oct 5.


Sample handling and storage conditions in specimens frozen over long periods of time can severely impact marker levels. If laboratory technologies, practices and related protocols change over time, biomarker studies are potentially biased and report erroneous results. These issues and pitfalls are often overlooked in system biology studies using previously collected and stored materials, and are likely to be one notable cause for biomarker candidates failing to be validated. We present results from simulation studies quantifying the loss in statistical power to detect true biomarkers, due to diminishing concentration of analytes in samples subject to poor handling and storage conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Systems Biology*


  • Biomarkers