About this Research Topic
The incidence of non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory illnesses is increasing worldwide and constitute a large public health challenge. Many of those diseases share common risk factors and are to a large extent preventable, as they are associated with highly modifiable risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity, obesity and UV radiation. These modifiable risk factors may interact with each other, as well as with molecular factors and constitute a complex network of parameters that influence on biological processes in disease development and progression. There is a need to increase the knowledge on how these parameters works together in a beneficial or harmful direction on disease risk. To better understand this complexity of disease development it is a strength to utilize combined datasets from large cohorts comprising of high quality data from disease registries and surveys, with associated biological specimens and biomarker information. Preferably with data and/or samples from repeated time points before a diagnosis to be able to identify changes in risk factors and early detection biomarkers.
Biobanks have been in operation for many decades in large population-based initiatives as well as smaller hospital- based collections and have become a critical resource for medical research. The rapid development of technologies like genomic sequencing and high-throughput molecular analyses, as well as advances in biocomputational analyses tools, opens up for new opportunities in utilization of biobanked samples. So far most studies using biobanks are based on collections from patients, representing a molecular profile highly affected by disease. Prospectively collected biorepositories that are crucial for studies on aetiology and early detection are to a much less extent utilized. Linkage of biobanks to health data from registries and exposome data is allowing prospective analyses to be undertaken for research into the causes of a wide range of health outcomes.
Keywords: biorepositories, registries, prospective cohorts, biomarkers, prevention
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