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Brain Inflammation Linked to More Severe Parkinson’s Symptoms

Reversing inflammation in the fluid surrounding the brain’s cortex may provide a solution to the complex riddle of Parkinson’s, according to researchers who have found a link between pro-inflammatory biomarkers and the severity of symptoms such as fatigue, depression and anxiety in patients with the chronic disease.

Lena Brundin of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine was part of a research team that measured inflammatory markers found in cerebrospinal fluid samples of Parkinson’s patients and members of a control group.

“The degree of neuroinflammation was significantly associated with more severe depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment even after controlling for factors such as age, gender and disease duration,” said Brundin, an associate professor in the college and a researcher with the Van Andel Institute.

“By investigating associations between inflammatory markers and non-motor symptoms we hope to gain further insight into this area, which in turn could lead to new treatment options.”

The results of the study were published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Inflammation in the brain long has been suspected to be involved in the development of Parkinson’s disease, specifically in non-motor symptoms such as depression, fatigue and cognitive impairment. Recent research suggests inflammation could drive cell death and that developing new drugs that target this inflammation might slow disease progression.

Parkinson´s disease is the second most common degenerative disorder of the central nervous system; the causes of the disease and its development are not yet fully understood.

“The few previous studies investigating inflammatory markers in the cerebrospinal fluid of Parkinson’s patients have been conducted on comparatively small numbers of subjects, and often without a healthy control group for comparison,” Brundin said.

In the study, 87 Parkinson’s patients were enrolled between 2008 and 2012. For the control group, 37 individuals were recruited. Participants underwent a general physical exam and routine blood screening. Researchers looked at the following markers: C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, eotaxin, interferon gamma-induced protein-10, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and macrophage inflammatory protein 1-β.

The study was carried out in collaboration with researchers from Lund University in Sweden, Skåne University Hospital in Sweden and the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Florida.

Study: Cerebrospinal fluid inflammatory markers in Parkinson’s disease – Associations with depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment [Brain, Behavior, and Immunity]

Source: EurekAlert!

Breakthrough Case Study Highlights New Biomarker for Cancer and Inflammation

A groundbreaking peer reviewed case report by Dr. Isaac Eliaz, M.D. of Amitabha Medical Clinic, demonstrates for the first time the clinical use of novel biomarker galectin-3 to assess cancer progression and inflammation. The case study titled, “The Role of Galectin-3 as a Marker of Cancer and Inflammation in a Stage IV Ovarian Cancer Patient with Underlying Pro-Inflammatory Comorbidities,” was published in the July 2013 issue of Case Reports in Oncology. This report is the first of its kind to expand the diagnostic and prognostic applications of the galectin-3 blood serum test, introducing an important clinical tool to assess risk and progression of metastatic cancer and inflammatory diseases.

In 2011, the galectin-3 blood test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the screening and prognosis of congestive heart failure and cardiovascular disease. Approval was granted after an extensive body of published data, including long-term population studies, demonstrated the active role of elevated galectin-3 in cardiovascular conditions, fibrosis and early mortality. However, a rapidly expanding field of published galectin-3 research also highlights the significance of this rogue molecule as a novel biomarker that is both an active culprit as well as a byproduct of numerous inflammatory and malignant cellular processes beyond cardiovascular disease.

An expert on galectin-3, Dr. Eliaz applies the data obtained in this case study to shed further light on excess galectin-3’s mechanisms of action, specifically inflammatory response to injury and cancer progression. In this report, Dr. Eliaz presents the first published case documenting the clinical use of galectin-3 to monitor cancer progression and treatment response, as well as inflammatory conditions. These findings point to an expanded clinical model using galectin-3 testing in the diagnostic and prognostic assessment of numerous chronic, inflammatory diseases.

Unlike biomarkers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), which only indicate the presence of inflammation, galactin-3 is shown to play a direct role in initiating disease progression. It is a protein normally present in the body at low concentrations, where it is involved in numerous functions including cell growth and communication. At elevated levels, however, galectin-3 fuels numerous pathologic processes including chronic inflammation and the progression of inflammation to fibrosis; cancer cell adhesion, migration, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Elevated galectin-3 also allows cancer cells to evade immune response. Research demonstrates elevated galectin-3 levels in patients with melanoma, lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, ovarian, and head and neck cancers as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and others. Galectin-3 levels are also found to be higher in patients with metastatic disease than in patients with localized tumors.

Dr. Eliaz states, “This new case report and significant clinical observation supports the need for further research on the role of galectin-3. The galectin-3 test could well become one of our most important clinical tools in assessing and monitoring a wide range of conditions beyond cardiovascular disease, including metastatic cancer and inflammatory conditions.”

Study: The Role of Galectin-3 as a Marker of Cancer and Inflammation in a Stage IV Ovarian Cancer Patient with Underlying Pro-Inflammatory Comorbidities. [Case Reports in Oncology]

Source: PR Newswire

Breakthrough Case Study Highlights New Biomarker for Cancer and Inflammation

A groundbreaking peer reviewed case report by Dr. Isaac Eliaz, M.D. of Amitabha Medical Clinic, demonstrates for the first time the clinical use of novel biomarker galectin-3 to assess cancer progression and inflammation. The case study titled, “The Role of Galectin-3 as a Marker of Cancer and Inflammation in a Stage IV Ovarian Cancer Patient with Underlying Pro-Inflammatory Comorbidities,” was published in the July 2013 issue of Case Reports in Oncology. This report is the first of its kind to expand the diagnostic and prognostic applications of the galectin-3 blood serum test, introducing an important clinical tool to assess risk and progression of metastatic cancer and inflammatory diseases.

In 2011, the galectin-3 blood test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the screening and prognosis of congestive heart failure and cardiovascular disease. Approval was granted after an extensive body of published data, including long-term population studies, demonstrated the active role of elevated galectin-3 in cardiovascular conditions, fibrosis and early mortality. However, a rapidly expanding field of published galectin-3 research also highlights the significance of this rogue molecule as a novel biomarker that is both an active culprit as well as a byproduct of numerous inflammatory and malignant cellular processes beyond cardiovascular disease.

An expert on galectin-3, Dr. Eliaz applies the data obtained in this case study to shed further light on excess galectin-3’s mechanisms of action, specifically inflammatory response to injury and cancer progression. In this report, Dr. Eliaz presents the first published case documenting the clinical use of galectin-3 to monitor cancer progression and treatment response, as well as inflammatory conditions. These findings point to an expanded clinical model using galectin-3 testing in the diagnostic and prognostic assessment of numerous chronic, inflammatory diseases.

Unlike biomarkers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), which only indicate the presence of inflammation, galactin-3 is shown to play a direct role in initiating disease progression. It is a protein normally present in the body at low concentrations, where it is involved in numerous functions including cell growth and communication. At elevated levels, however, galectin-3 fuels numerous pathologic processes including chronic inflammation and the progression of inflammation to fibrosis; cancer cell adhesion, migration, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Elevated galectin-3 also allows cancer cells to evade immune response. Research demonstrates elevated galectin-3 levels in patients with melanoma, lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, ovarian, and head and neck cancers as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and others. Galectin-3 levels are also found to be higher in patients with metastatic disease than in patients with localized tumors.

Dr. Eliaz states, “This new case report and significant clinical observation supports the need for further research on the role of galectin-3. The galectin-3 test could well become one of our most important clinical tools in assessing and monitoring a wide range of conditions beyond cardiovascular disease, including metastatic cancer and inflammatory conditions.”

Study: The Role of Galectin-3 as a Marker of Cancer and Inflammation in a Stage IV Ovarian Cancer Patient with Underlying Pro-Inflammatory Comorbidities [Case Reports in Oncology]

Source: PR Newswire

Crescendo Bioscience to Present New Data on Vectra DA Use to Assess Radiographic Progression Risk in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Traditional and Biologic Therapies at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Meeting (EULAR)

Crescendo Bioscience, a molecular diagnostics company dedicated to developing and commercializing quantitative blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other auto-immune diseases, announced today that it will present data from ten different studies that further support the important role Vectra® DA can play in managing Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Meeting held in Madrid, Spain, on June 12-15. EULAR is the largest gathering of rheumatology healthcare professionals in Europe. Vectra DA is an objective, validated blood test that provides rheumatologists with a score of 1-100, giving biological insight into the level of disease activity of rheumatoid arthritis. Data presented at EULAR will demonstrate Vectra DA’s ability to assess risk of radiographic progression (joint damage over time) in patients with RA currently treated with traditional and biologic agents, including TNF inhibitors. In addition, data will show how Vectra DA can detect a high level of RA disease activity in patients with a low C-reactive protein (CRP) without being affected by fibromyalgia, a painful non-inflammatory condition that can co-exist with RA.

This week, researchers will present data from a study conducted by the University of Occupational and Environmental Health in Kitakyushu, Japan, A Multi-biomarker Disease Activity (Vectra DA Algorithm) Score is Associated with Radiographic Outcomes in RA Patients Treated with TNF inhibitors (#SAT0012) . This study found that patients who were being treated with adalimumab, etanercept or infliximab and had a low Vectra DA score (29 or less) in at least two of three visits over one year showed little or no radiographic progression. In contrast, patients with high scores (greater than 44) for at least two of three visits had a much higher risk of clinically relevant radiographic progression. In addition, researchers found that change in the Vectra DA score over the first six months of treatment correlated with radiographic outcomes in the first year. This is the first time risk of radiographic progression in patients treated with TNF inhibitors was assessed using Vectra DA over time.

“We know that anti-TNF drugs have been shown to help minimize the overall amount of radiographic progression,” said Yoshiya Tanaka, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan. “This study underscores the clinical utility of Vectra DA to objectively assess which patients remain at risk of radiographic progression despite anti-TNF therapy. This information could be important in helping rheumatologists confirm or potentially revise their treatment plan.”

“This study demonstrates the additional value Vectra DA can bring to the overall RA patient management experience,” said Oscar Segurado, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer at Crescendo Bioscience. “With a number of RA drugs available today, and more than 50 agents in development, a quantifiable disease activity measurement test like Vectra DA can be a true asset for physicians.”

Researchers will also present new data regarding use of Vectra DA in patients with both RA and fibromyalgia. In Application of a Multi-Biomarker Disease Activity (Vectra DA) Score for Assessing Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients with Low CRP or Fibromyalgia (#SAT0099), researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School showed that in patients with RA, traditional methods of disease assessment, including tender joint count, DAS28-CRP, and Patient Global Assessment were markedly increased by the presence of fibromyalgia, a painful non-inflammatory syndrome that can confound the assessment of patients with RA. In contrast, the Vectra DA test measured essentially the same level of disease activity in patients with RA independent of the presence of fibromyalgia, which highlights the value of the objective nature of the test.

“Vectra DA provides additional information about disease activity that is not provided by other assessment tools such as C-reactive protein (CRP),” said Segurado. “This study showed that in patients with low CRP, nearly half had Vectra DA scores in the moderate to high disease activity range, indicating that their RA was actually more active than originally found with CRP. This information will help physicians attain better insight to the underlying biology of the disease.”

Additional Poster Highlights

A study selected by EULAR will be part of the Poster Tour (FRI0098) Friday, June 14 between 11:45 am and 1:30 pm, Biomarker-Based Estimates of Risk of Radiographic Progression in the Leiden Early Arthritis Cohort, and researchers from the Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands will discuss the use of Vectra DA as a tool to estimate the risk of radiographic progression in RA.

“Using the Vectra DA score, we were able to see a correlation between the score and risk of radiographic progression over 12 months,” said Tom W.J. Huizinga, M.D., Head of the Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands and primary investigator. “This tells us that Vectra DA can be helpful in identifying patients at high risk for radiographic progression and, thus, give rheumatologists more information to help prevent future progression.”

Another poster, A Multi-Biomarker Disease Activity Blood Test (Vectra DA) Correlates with Radiographic Progression in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis: Results from the SWEFOT Trial (#FRI0060), focused on use of Vectra DA in assessing risk of radiographic progression in early RA. The SWEFOT study is the Swedish Pharmacotherapy Trial out of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

In early RA patients starting methotrexate, the study found that Vectra DA’s score, when assessed at baseline, significantly correlated with radiographic progression in the first year. “A high MBDA score at baseline was associated with a higher risk of radiographic progression, even in patients who had moderate disease activity by DAS28 or low CRP at baseline,” said Ronald F. van Vollenhoven,M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chief, Unit for Clinical Therapy Research, Inflammatory Diseases (ClinTRID), Chief, Clinical Trials Unit, Department of Rheumatology, the Karolinska Institute and primary investigator of the study.

Other Vectra DA Posters Presented at 2013 EULAR Annual meeting

Additional study results (presented in six posters listed below) further demonstrate and confirm the ability of Vectra DA to objectively assess disease activity and/or potentially identify risk for radiographic progression in early- and later-stage RA patients.

Poster #FRI0061

Multi-Biomarker Disease Activity (MBDA) Score and the 12 Individual Biomarkers in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Relate Differently to Clinical Response and Radiographic Progression: Results from SWEFOT Trial; K. Hambardzumyan, Karolinska Institutet, ClinTRID, Stockholm, Sweden, and other collaborators.

Poster #FRI0062

Evaluation of a Multi-Biomarker Disease Activity (Vectra DA Algorithm) in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis and Unclassified Arthritis Patients; K. I. Maijer, Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Academic Medical Center/University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands and other collaborators.

Poster #FRI0066

Behavior of the Multi-Biomarker Disease Activity (Vectra DA Algorithm) Score and Components in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Treated with Tocilizumab; K. Hanami, The First Department Of Internal Medicine, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan, and other collaborators.

Poster # FRI0075

A Multi-Biomarker Disease Activity (Vectra DA Algorithm) Score and Components are Associated with Sustained Clinical Remission in Rheumatoid Arthritis: the REMIRA Study; M. H. Ma, Academic Department of Rheumatology, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom and other collaborators.

Poster #FRI0079

Response to MTX Plus Prednisone in CAMERA II Using a Multi-Biomarker Disease Activity Test (Vectra DA) and DAS28-ESR; M. S. Jurgens, Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, UMC UTRECHT, Utrecht, Netherlands and other collaborators.

Poster #SAT0033

Characterization of the Multi-Biomarker Disease Activity (Vectra DA Algorithm) Score in a Subgroup of Patients from the Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (EIRA) Cohort Receiving Methotrexate; W. Li, Crescendo Bioscience, Inc., South San Francisco and other collaborators.

Source: GlobeNewswire

Shiel Medical Laboratory’s Oxidized LDL Triple Marker Test Uncovers Symptoms of Latent Heart Disease Better than Standard Lipid Test

The primary clinical laboratory test used by physicians to identify patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) fails to measure oxidized low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the plaque-specific protein directly involved in the disease process. A key study demonstrated that nearly half the patients with documented coronary events had LDL cholesterol readings within healthy range, exposing a major weakness in the standard lipid panel and the need for measuring oxidized LDL levels.

Shiel Medical Laboratory’s Oxidized LDL Triple Marker Test is the only blood test that measures oxidized LDL, which reflects atherosclerotic disease activity in the arterial wall. As an identifier of clinical and subclinical CAD, the test is superior to any other laboratory test available to assess patient risk of cardiovascular disease, which kills 400,000 Americans annually and costs $110 billion in medical services and lost productivity.

“Research studies show measuring LDL cholesterol alone is insufficient to determine whether a patient is at risk for heart attack or stroke,” said Shiel Medical Laboratory Technical Services Director, Harold M. Bates, Ph.D., who was involved in the commercial development of the oxidized LDL test. “Oxidized LDL as a biomarker test could easily become the successor to the regular LDL test because of its greater clinical efficacy.”

Shiel’s Oxidized LDL Triple Marker Test overcomes the weaknesses of conventional lipid tests by measuring oxidized LDL, a plaque-specific protein. Oxidized LDL is the atherogenic form of LDL cholesterol linked to the deposition of plaque in the artery walls. The CAD disease process depends on the oxidation of LDL, making oxidized LDL the primary culprit molecule in cardiovascular disease.

In addition to oxidized LDL, the Oxidized LDL Triple Marker Test measures two additional biomarkers linked to CAD: HDL cholesterol, an anti-atherogenic substance that inhibits the disease-causing action of oxidized LDL; and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), an independent biomarker that at certain lower levels is associated with cardiovascular disease.

Like oxidized LDL, hs-CRP is not included in the standard lipid panel even though elevated oxidized LDL and chronically elevated hs-CRP may explain why half of all patients hospitalized with CAD have lipid readings that appear normal.(1)

In published medical studies assessing known and emerging lipid biomarkers, oxidized LDL measurements rendered the most accurate snapshot of CAD risk. A 2006 study of 921 subjects, including 490 CAD patients and 431 healthy individuals in the control group, compared the relative potency of oxidized LDL to LDL cholesterol in identifying patients with CAD.(2 )Oxidized LDL showed a six-fold ability over LDL cholesterol in indicating disease. Measuring the oxidized LDL/HDL ratio and adding hs-CRP levels to round out the Triple Marker profile produced a 16-fold ability over LDL cholesterol in identifying CAD disease.

“Every physician needs to know that standard lipid panels do not measure elevated oxidized LDL even in patients with low to moderate LDL. I’m certain more patients would request the Oxidized LDL test if they knew how much more effective it is in detecting CAD than the standard LDL test,” said Charles Mitgang, M.D., an internist in Rockville Centre, N.Y. “The test has become part of my routine in identifying, treating and monitoring patients who are at risk for CAD.”

Shiel Medical Laboratory is the first and only laboratory to develop the automated Oxidized LDL Test and establish reference ranges allowing physicians to better interpret results. Shiel introduced the test in 2006, following lab validation and approval by the New York State Department of Health. The laboratory exhibits annually at Scientific Sessions for the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology and researchers and clinicians have embraced this lipid biomarker test as a much-needed addition to the cardiac disease prevention arsenal.

Source: PR Newswire