BIOMARKERS OF ENDOMETRIOSIS

First endometriosis blood test detects up to 9 out of 10 cases

First endometriosis blood test detects up to 9 out of 10 cases

 Endometriosis is notoriously difficult to diagnose. A recent study showed that it usually takes 7-12 years from first experiencing symptoms to diagnosis.

A private company (MDNA Life Sciences) announced that it is to launch the world’s first blood test for endometriosis, able to detect the disease in up to 9 out of 10 cases. Results will be available in a matter of days after the test is carried out, enabling doctors to make earlier decisions on diagnosis and treatment.

Endometriosis, a debilitating condition affecting 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, causes years of pain and distress. A surgical procedure is required to definitively diagnose the condition, resulting in an average delay to diagnosis of 7.5 years.

Using its proprietary technology, MDNA has developed techniques to exploit the unique characteristics of mutations in mitochondrial DNA, which can act as biomarkers for the presence of a range of diseases.

After successfully identifying biomarkers for different types of cancer, researchers at MDNA’s Newcastle upon Tyne laboratory have now identified biomarkers associated with endometriosis. Results of a clinical study recently published in the peer-reviewed journal Biomarkers in Medicine, show that the newly identified biomarkers can accurately detect endometriosis in blood samples in up to 9 out of 10 cases, even in its early stages.

MDNA has now embarked on a programme to create a CE-marked test kit to enable clinical laboratories in the UK and worldwide to carry out the test on a commercial basis. The CE process will be completed in 9-10 months.

Dr Andrew Harbottle, MDNA Life Sciences’ Chief Science Officer explains: “Mutations in mitochondrial DNA act as ideal biomarkers, providing us with a unique and detailed diary of damage to the DNA and accurately detecting many difficult to diagnose diseases and conditions, such as endometriosis”.

MDNA’s Mitomi Technology platform identifies and optimises the best biomarkers to detect a specific disease. The company has already demonstrated the accuracy of its technology in a blood test for prostate cancer. As well as the new test for endometriosis, MDNA is planning to release tests for ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer next year. Tests for lung, liver, and stomach cancers will follow in 2021 and more tests are in the pipeline.

Harry Smart, MDNA Life Sciences’ Chairman says “Our ground-breaking test for endometriosis will fundamentally change the way this debilitating disease is detected and diagnosed. We look forward to helping women get treatment sooner, reducing their pain and distress and providing cost savings to health services”.

My opinion

The development of a reliable non-invasive test for the diagnosis of endometriosis is highly desirable and necessary since it will spare many patients of unnecessary surgical interventions and it will facilitate and speed up the diagnosis and management of endometriosis. This will immensely improve the quality of life of millions of women worldwide.

Source:

https://mdnalifesciences.com/2019/04/worlds-first-blood-test-for-endometriosis-can-detect-up-to-9-out-of-10-cases/

A new non-invasive diagnostic test for endometriosis

A new non-invasive diagnostic test for endometriosis

A revolutionary new diagnostic test for endometriosis will shortly be released by an American company. The test developed by the San Francisco based company uses the patient’s saliva to look for particular biomarkers found to be elevated in endometriosis patients.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition where the tissue that lines the womb (called endometrium) grows outside of the womb. This ectopic tissue then bleeds at the same time as a normal period and causes pain. 

Endometriosis is extremely difficult to diagnose due to overlapping symptoms with other gynaecological conditions and usually, there is a long delay from the first appearance of symptoms to a definitive diagnosis.

Currently, the only way to diagnose endometriosis is through laparoscopy, so the availability of such a simple non-invasive test would be welcomed by patients and clinicians alike. 

American company Dotlab announced it will mail a saliva test kit to the patient’s home. The patient then will mail the saliva sample back to them and later get their results through a secure online dashboard.

There is no data available as yet about the reliability of the saliva-based test but the company claims it has been tested on thousands of patients to date. 

The development of the test seems to have stemmed from much research the company has carried out into the levels of molecules called microRNAs present in the blood. 

The levels of these molecules could be used to accurately predict a surgically achieved diagnosis of endometriosis in those suspected of having the condition. 

Dr. Hugh Taylor, Chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale School of Medicine, Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of Dotlab said: “Diagnostic biomarkers for endometriosis have the potential to dramatically reduce the time from the onset of symptoms to effective diagnosis and management.” Dr. Taylor also said that once diagnosed, the test could be used for ongoing monitoring of the disease, “These biomarkers could be used to not only identify patients requiring medical or surgical treatment but also to monitor treatment response and recurrence of the disease.”

At present, there is only an early access program allowing some clinicians to get their hands on the kit. The company has not announced a general release date or if the test will be available throughout the world.

 

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