Osteoarthritis biomarkers: year in review.
OBJECTIVE: To summarise important findings from biomarker studies relevant to osteoarthritis (OA), published between April 2016 and March 2017; to consider these findings in the context of new discoveries and technologies, and clinical and scientific need in OA. DESIGN: Studies were selected by PubMed search, conducted between 01/04/2016 and 01/03/2017. MeSH terms [biomarker] AND [OA] were used; the search was restricted to Human, English language and Full Text Available publications, which yielded 50 eligible publications. Any biomarker was considered, including non-proteins and other clinical measurements. RESULTS: Three main areas are overviewed: 1) Studies examining highly validated biomarkers, in the FNIH OA Biomarkers Consortium and elsewhere, particularly their ongoing application and validation. Control reference intervals, work on predictive validity and other longitudinal studies examining prognostic value of biomarkers in large cohorts are reviewed. 2) Novel studies relating to biomarkers of inflammation are discussed, including complement, the performance of markers of so-called 'cold inflammation' and results from clinical trials including biomarkers. 3) Discovery studies, including whole blood RNA, proteomics and metabolomics are reviewed, with an emphasis on new technologies. CONCLUSIONS: Discovery, characterisation and qualification of various biomarkers is ongoing; several novel protein and non-protein candidate biomarkers have been reported this year. Biomarkers provide us with an opportunity to better diagnose and stratify the disease, via established panels or new discovery approaches. Improving quality of sampling and testing, and measuring large numbers of markers simultaneously in large cohorts would seem likely to identify new clinically applicable biomarkers, which are still much needed in this disease.