The goal of biomarker research is to identify clinically valid markers. Despite decades of research there has been disappointingly few molecules or techniques that are in use today. The "1st International NTNU Symposium on Current and Future Clinical Biomarkers of Cancer: Innovation and Implementation", was held June 16th and 17th 2016, at the Knowledge Center of the St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, under the auspices of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the HUNT biobank and research center. The Symposium attracted approximately 100 attendees and invited speakers from 12 countries and 4 continents. In this Symposium original research and overviews on diagnostic, predictive and prognostic cancer biomarkers in serum, plasma, urine, pleural fluid and tumor, circulating tumor cells and bioinformatics as well as how to implement biomarkers in clinical trials were presented. Senior researchers and young investigators presented, reviewed and vividly discussed important new developments in the field of clinical biomarkers of cancer, with the goal of accelerating biomarker research and implementation. The excerpts of this symposium aim to give a cutting-edge overview and insight on some highly important aspects of clinical cancer biomarkers to-date to connect molecular innovation with clinical implementation to eventually improve patient care.