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Wish list: which biomarker studies in HAM/TSP should be funded by the God of all trial funds?

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Since the discovery of HAM/TSP, little progress has been made on developing treatments. As HAM/TSP usually progress slowly, it can take a long time to evaluate disease activity and decide on a course of treatment. Therefore, there is a dire need for biomarkers capable of predicting the rate of disease progression and “surrogate end-points” that enable new treatments to be assessed more rapidly and with greater accuracy in clinical trials. However, in order to validate surrogate end-points, it is necessary to conduct large-scale, randomized clinical trials – a very difficult feat for such a rare disease. Here we present a recent study on candidate prognostic biomarkers for HAM/TSP and discuss future research directions.

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Correspondence to Yoshihisa Yamano.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Yamano, Y. Wish list: which biomarker studies in HAM/TSP should be funded by the God of all trial funds?. Retrovirology 11, O28 (2014) doi:10.1186/1742-4690-11-S1-O28

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  • Clinical Trial
  • Infectious Disease
  • Cancer Research
  • Research Direction
  • Rare Disease