by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted December 18, 2007 in DNA Testing, DNA and Disease
UK genetic testing company Opaldia will be offering the Diagenic breast cancer blood test starting in 2008. The test detects gene expression patterns in peripheral (circulating) blood and is touted as being able to diagnose asymptomatic breast cancer before it can be detected by manual breast exam or mammograms. In 2005, Diagenic company researchers published an article in Breast Cancer Research detailing 37 predictive genes for breast cancer (pdf).
Dr. James Mackay, Opaldia Medical Director:
I think it is really important to investigate better ways of detecting early breast cancer in young women.
All health professionals who work with breast cancer are concerned that mammograms may be sub optimal in young women under 47. Therefore a new test used alongside mammography would provide the optimal chance of detecting the cancer as early as possible.
Analyzing gene expression signatures from peripheral blood is based on the following principles (adapted from the Diagenic website):
The body responds to disease in a way that can be detected by measuring the amount of mRNA transcribed from a specific set of genes associated with disease
These gene expression patterns can be analyzed using whole genome microarrays
Gene expression signatures can be used to diagnose disease
Diagenic also offers a similar test for Alzheimer’s Disease.
NB: Opaldia CEO Elaine Warburton blogs about their partnership with Diagenic at Genetics and Health.
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