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Biomarkers may reduce need for biopsies
Date:4/10/2008

tal/Harvard will discuss Imaging Biomarkers: New Horizons and Opportunities in Transplantation, and will share the latest information on imaging biomarkers and how advanced imaging techniques may soon help in the management of transplant patients. Three related biomarker abstracts are also slated for presentation during the session.

In recent years, there has been an intensive focus on enhancing our ability to provide the most particular predictive, diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic guidance for patients. This intent has been enabled by unbiased and targeted examination of genotypes and haplotypes that may convey risk or protection against certain disease processes like immune rejection, as well as by defining the molecular signatures of a disease process like rejection by measuring mRNA, proteins or metabolites in the blood or urine. Distillation of such data, along with clinical features, is intended to improve care, reduce costs, and make patients lives more enjoyable, said Bruce McManus, MD, PhD, University of British Columbia, one of the Co-Chairs for the biomarkers plenary session.

Until recently, heart muscle biopsy was the only method available to rule out heart transplant rejection and guide treatment with anti-rejection, or immunosuppressive, therapy. Aside from the invasive and painful nature of the procedure, a biopsy is only able to detect rejection after damage has already occurred to the heart tissue. Similar dilemmas exist in the monitoring of lung transplant recipients.

Alternatively, non-invasive molecular testing of a routine blood sample allows analysis of gene expression in white blood cells, proteins in the plasma, and metabolites in blood and urine. The latter biomarkers provide information on the immune, inflammatory and injury status of the transplanted heart before tissue damage occurs. The new and original information on biomarkers and personalized care in lectures given at ISHLT will offer a deeper kno
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Contact: Lauren Mason
lmason@masonpr.com
210-857-2521
International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation
Source:Eurekalert

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