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Metabolic Test May Predict Pregnant Women at Risk for Preeclampsia

Women can be vulnerable to sudden, sometimes dangerous spikes in blood pressure during pregnancy, part of a condition called preeclampsia. And now scientists say they’ve developed a high-tech method to predict which women are most prone to preeclampsia in late pregnancy — long before symptoms arise.

The approach relies on so-called “metabolic profiling” to track telltale metabolites found in blood plasma. The researchers say these changes could be key indicators for preeclampsia risk.

Paper Demonstrates New Top-Down Approach for Identifying Low Abundance Biomarkers

A recent article in Proteomics Clinical Applications demonstrates the validity of a new top-down proteomics approach to identifying low-abundance biomarkers in the one percent of serum/plasma proteins known as the deep proteome. Applying this methodology, French researchers identified a potential biomarker that might be used to track a patient’s recovery from a myocardial infarction (heart attack). Specifically, their goal was to develop indicators that would more accurately predict a complex process called “left ventricular remodeling” that occurs in response to heart damage and leads to heart failure.

Blood Test Accurately Predicts Death from Prostate Cancer up to 25 Years in Advance

A blood test at the age of 60 can accurately predict the risk that a man will die from prostate cancer within the next 25 years, according to researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, and Lund University, in Sweden. The findings, published today online in the British Medical Journal, could have important implications for determining which men should be screened after the age of 60 and which may not benefit substantially from continued prostate cancer screening.

CompanDx Launches Biomarker Panel for Predicting Time to Breast Cancer Metastasis

U.K.-based biomarker discovery services firm Compandia has changed its name to CompanDx and launched a 31 gene breast cancer metastasis prediction panel it calls Time to an Event. Developed using the company’s Risk Distiller bioinformatics tool, the Time to an Event biomarker panel can accurately predict time to metastasis following initial surgery and biopsy, CompanDx claims. The firm says it is now applying for funding to further validate the panel in the clinic. It already has collaborations in place with leading clinical centers, and industry support has been secured with a major diagnostics company.

Consortium Develops Algorithm from Blood-Based Alzheimer’s Biomarkers

In a study appearing in the newest issue of the Archives of Neurology, members of the Texas Alzheimer’s Research Consortium reported that they have identified protein biomarkers in the blood that can be used to distinguish between individuals with and without Alzheimer’s disease.