Background: Cytokines communicate between the cells of the immune system and its targets to maintain homeostasis after injury or pathogenic events. They are involved in almost any pathological situation imaginable. Objective: To verify the importance of cytokines as biomarkers in current preclinical (aetiopathogenic, development of new therapies) and clinical studies (diagnosis, disease severity, prognosis and response to therapy). Method/results: A Medline search with the query 'cytokine' AND 'biomarker' AND a variable for a variety of biomedical fields, followed by deeper-level searches, demonstrated the immense popularity of cytokines as biomarkers in almost any biomedical field. Conclusion: As cytokines are not disease-specific they do not serve as single diagnostic biomarkers. The strength of the cytokines resides in monitoring disease severity, prognosis and response to treatment.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering
- Biochemistry, medical