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Recent Advances in Sepsis Research: Novel Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets

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Sepsis remains a common cause of death in the intensive care units worldwide. However, in the last decade a significant development could be noticed in sepsis research regarding diagnostic markers that can help the physicians to recognize the disease in the early phase, which is the clue of the successful treatment of sepsis. This development provided the identification of new molecules and structures (i.e. cytokins, cell surface markers, receptors) that are potential biomarkers of sepsis in the clinical settings. Besides, the advance in the understanding of the pathophysiologic, immunologic and biochemical pathway of sepsis has made the way for assignment of new drug targets in the therapy of sepsis. This review aims to provide a summary about these novelties regarding our knowledge about sepsis published in the medical literature recently. We will describe the presumed pathophysiological role and diagnostic value of sepsis markers that are used even more widely in the clinical practice (i.e. procalcitonin, IL-6), summarize the data regarding the sepsis marker candidates that are investigated in some initial study (i.e. matrix metalloproteinases, microRNA fingerprints), and we will discuss substances that may be specific markers for certain organ failures related to sepsis (i.e. neutrophil gelatinase-derived lipocalin in acute renal failure). Furthermore, we will review the mediators of the immuno-inflammatory cascade in sepsis concerning their potential applicability as therapeutic targets in the treatment of this often lethal disease. In addition, we present some insights into the identification of genetic markers of sepsis.

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Keywords: Sepsis; brain type natriuretic peptide; diagnosis; interleukin-6; marker; matrix metalloproteinase; neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin; organ failure; procalcitonin; prognosis; septic shock; soluble triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells; therapeutic target; therapy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-07-01

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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