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U.S. National Institutes of Health
Last Updated: 03/05/10

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.