Novel Biomarkers for Renal Diseases? None for the Moment (but One)

Giorgio Gentile, Giuseppe Remuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Recent years have witnessed the unprecedented development and integration of genomics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, as well as a growing interest in novel single biomarkers and process-specific biomarker panels in human renal diseases. In a scenario currently dominated by kidney biopsy and established biomarkers such as serum creatinine, albuminuria, and proteinuria, novel biomarkers could potentially provide vital diagnostic and prognostic information and help to predict response to treatment in several clinical settings, including acute kidney injury, renal transplant, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, and glomerulopathies. However, it is still uncertain whether and to what extent novel biomarkers will succeed in this difficult task. To date, they have generally failed to provide relevant information over and above what is already granted by established, cheap, and easily available biomarkers such as proteinuria, while the complexity and costs of these technology platforms are an important obstacle to their wide adoption. On the other hand, the successful implementation of anti-phospholipase A2 receptor antibodies as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker of membranous nephropathy, as well as the huge number of ongoing collaborative efforts worldwide, should induce the nephrology community to be rather optimistic about a potential breakthrough in the management of kidney diseases over the next few decades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-670
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Screening
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • acute kidney injury
  • biomarkers
  • chronic kidney disease
  • genomics
  • glomerulopathies
  • kidney transplant
  • metabolomics
  • proteomics
  • review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biotechnology


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