Biomarker Development for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. From Discovery to Clinical Implementation

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2015 Nov 15;192(10):1162-70. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201505-0871PP.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. Regrettably, there are no biomarkers to objectively diagnose COPD exacerbations, which are the major drivers of hospitalization and deaths from COPD. Moreover, there are no biomarkers to guide therapeutic choices or to risk stratify patients for imminent exacerbations and no objective biomarkers of disease activity or disease progression. Although there has been a tremendous investment in COPD biomarker discovery over the past 2 decades, clinical translation and implementation have not matched these efforts. In this article, we outline the challenges of biomarker development in COPD and provide an overview of a developmental pipeline that may be able to surmount these challenges and bring novel biomarker solutions to accelerate therapeutic discoveries and to improve the care and outcomes of the millions of individuals worldwide with COPD.

Keywords: biomarkers; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; personalized medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genetic Markers*
  • Humans
  • Metabolomics / methods
  • Precision Medicine / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / genetics*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Risk Assessment / methods


  • Genetic Markers