Who is Needed on the Research Team?
Although the concept for a new cancer biomarker may begin with a single investigator, its successful development invariably requires a team approach. The members of the team will usually include:
- the biologist who understands the biologic rationale for the marker or the scientist who understands the genomic or proteomic analysis
- the clinical or anatomic pathologist who will perform the test in a clinical laboratory and report the result and a medical interpretation to the oncologist
- the oncologist who will use the information to recommend a course of treatment to the patient. The oncologist may recruit patients to participate in a clinical trial that validates the medical utility of the new test or technique.
- the statistician who will contribute to the design and interpretation of the clinical research. All patient-oriented cancer research requires close collaboration between the investigators and the statistician from the beginning of the study.