There's a new blood test that could detect up to 90% of cases of endometriosis
The Mitomic Endometriosis Test, which was developed at MDNA’s Newcastle lab, looks for biomarkers of endometriosis in the blood through the close examination of mutations in mitochondrial DNA.
A study published in the journal Biomarkers in Medicine found that these newly-identified biomarkers can accurately detect endometriosis in blood samples in up to nine out of 10 cases, even in the early stages of the condition.
The group are creating test kits for laborites across the UK, similar to the ones they have already created for prostate cancer.
They are releasing blood tests for ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer and hope to develop tests for lung, liver, and stomach cancers could by 2021.
Dr Christian Becker, from the Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health at the University of Oxford, said: ‘Endometriosis not only causes enormous suffering to the affected women, but also brings a tremendous medical and economic burden to bear on society.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Symptoms vary from person to person but some of the most common include:
- Painful, heavy, or irregular periods
- Pain during or after sex
- Painful bowel movements
‘There is a long lag phase between the onset and diagnosis of the disease, mainly due to its non-specific symptoms and because it can only be diagnosed invasively by laparoscopy.
‘A specific, non-invasive test to aid diagnosis of endometriosis is certainly an unmet clinical need.’
Dr Andrew Harbottle, MDNA Life Sciences’ chief science officer, said: ‘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.’
Harry Smart, MDNA Life Sciences’ chairman said: “We are the only company to use mitochondrial DNA to detect diseases and have developed a library of 16,000 biomarkers to date.
‘Our groundbreaking test for endometriosis will fundamentally change the way this debilitating disease is detected and diagnosed.
‘We look forward to helping UK women get treatment sooner, reducing their pain and distress and providing cost savings to health services.’
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