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PCR-Based Endometrial Cancer Detection Test to Prevent Missed Diagnoses

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 31 Aug 2023
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Image: The new molecular test is designed to use Pap Smear for early endometrial cancer detection (Photo courtesy of Freepik)
Image: The new molecular test is designed to use Pap Smear for early endometrial cancer detection (Photo courtesy of Freepik)

Endometrial cancer is the most frequently diagnosed gynecologic cancer. In 2020, around 417,367 individuals received an endometrial cancer diagnosis. One out 10 women experiencing abnormal bleeding during their lifetimes will need invasive specialist biopsy procedures to rule out endometrial cancer. Previous research has identified specific gene hypermethylation as a potential biomarker for endometrial cancer detection. This has now paved the way for a minimally invasive test that identifies methylated biomarkers, indicating gene repression linked to malignancy. By utilizing the widely accepted pap smear or HPV sampling approach, this molecular test offers huge potential as a supplementary tool for assisting in endometrial cancer diagnosis right at the clinic.

INEX Innovate (Singapore) has launched epiHERA, the company’s early endometrial cancer detection technology, powered by a cutting-edge PCR test that is designed to detect epigenetic changes in genes associated with the presence of endometrial cancer. The epiHERA testing process starts with a simple cervical swab, similar to the sample collection method employed in cervical cancer screening. Subsequent steps involve genomic DNA extraction and bisulfite conversion. The final phase of the test entails real-time PCR analysis, focusing on the hypermethylated CDO1 and CELF4 genes. This streamlined process takes about six hours to be completed.

epiHERA addresses a critical gap in existing diagnostics by promoting equitable access to testing for vulnerable women. Its innovative methodology streamlines sample collection, significantly reducing turnaround time from weeks to days. Leveraging the scalability of molecular PCR testing ensures widespread availability, thereby increasing epiHERA's impact in the field of women's health. epiHERA has shown promising results in validation studies. Researchers can now access epiHERA for validation within their unique population cohorts, facilitating diverse applications and a comprehensive understanding of its efficacy.

“The launch of epiHERA is a testament not only to a shift in endometrial cancer detection but also underscores INEX Innovate's unwavering dedication to innovative solutions that enable timely interventions and improved patient outcomes,” said Kane Black, CEO of INEX Innovate. “epiHERA is the latest test launched by our team as we continue our path to being Asia’s pre-eminent women’s life science platform, and has received significant interest from clinicians and lab operators in the region. The launch comes at an exciting time of growth for the company on the back of recent acquisitions in the area as we expand both technology pipelines and geographically across the region.”

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