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Simple Blood Test for Esophageal Cancer Could Reduce Invasive Endoscopy Procedures

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Jun 2022
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Image: New test could detect protein ‘fingerprints’ in the blood (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Image: New test could detect protein ‘fingerprints’ in the blood (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Barrett’s esophagus is a pre-malignant condition that occurs when the esophagus is damaged by acid reflux. Barrett’s esophagus is asymptomatic and associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is an area of significant unmet medical need, with current screening requiring specialist medical expertise. Now, a simple blood test targeted at patients with Barrett’s esophagus could detect biomarkers for esophageal adenocarcinoma that were already validated in a 300 patient study earlier this year.

Proteomics International (Perth, Australia) has secured an exclusive worldwide license to commercialize biomarkers that can test for esophageal adenocarcinoma, the most common form of esophageal cancer. The license agreement between Proteomics and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (Queensland, Australia) was signed following a partnership between the two organizations to improve detection of the disease.

The QIMR Berghofer intellectual property in the biomarkers is licensed exclusively to Proteomics and will allow the company to use the biomarkers discovered by QIMR Berghofer researchers to develop and commercialize a simple blood test for esophageal adenocarcinoma. The license agreement comes after Proteomics and QIMR Berghofer validated the biomarkers in a joint study of more than 300 patients earlier this year. Proteomics will now undertake additional studies to confirm the diagnostic performance of the potential new blood test, which will take approximately six months and would be targeted at patients with Barrett’s esophagus.

“These at-risk patients are currently screened with invasive and costly endoscopy procedures. Instead, this panel of biomarkers - or protein ‘fingerprints’ in the blood - can detect the early stages of esophageal adenocarcinoma which we hope to do using a simple blood test,” said Dr. Richard Lipscombe, managing director of Proteomics International.

Related Links:
QIMR Berghofer 
Proteomics International 

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