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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 354671, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/354671
Review Article

Metabolomics for Biomarker Discovery: Moving to the Clinic

National TCM Key Lab of Serum Pharmacochemistry, Laboratory of Metabolomics and Chinmedomics, Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine, Heping Road 24, Harbin 150040, China

Received 3 August 2014; Accepted 28 December 2014

Academic Editor: Fa-Yun Che

Copyright © 2015 Aihua Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

To improve the clinical course of diseases, more accurate diagnostic and assessment methods are required as early as possible. In order to achieve this, metabolomics offers new opportunities for biomarker discovery in complex diseases and may provide pathological understanding of diseases beyond traditional technologies. It is the systematic analysis of low-molecular-weight metabolites in biological samples and has become an important tool in clinical research and the diagnosis of human disease and has been applied to discovery and identification of the perturbed pathways. It provides a powerful approach to discover biomarkers in biological systems and offers a holistic approach with the promise to clinically enhance diagnostics. When carried out properly, it could provide insight into the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of diseases, help to identify patients at risk of disease, and predict the response to specific treatments. Currently, metabolomics has become an important tool in clinical research and the diagnosis of human disease and becomes a hot topic. This review will highlight the importance and benefit of metabolomics for identifying biomarkers that accurately screen potential biomarkers of diseases.