The potential diagnostic and prognostic utility of using circulating fragments of DNA to detect early stage disease is further confirmed by a new study in a peer-reviewed journal, Chronix Biomedical today reported.
These DNA fragments, referred to as serum DNA, are released into the blood stream in trace amounts during the disease process. Chronix Biomedical has developed proprietary technology that can find, isolate and identify these serum DNA sequences, enabling very early detection of an underlying disease state or of a change in response to treatment. The study in the current issue of the journal Zoonoses & Public Health1
demonstrated that using Chronix technology, researchers were able to identify specific signature sequences in serum DNA before clinical symptoms appeared in animals experimentally infected with BSE (mad cow disease).
"These new results add to the growing body of scientific data validating the value of serum DNA as an early indicator of disease, and also advance our unique ability to apply these findings to the development of laboratory tests for routine clinical use," said Howard Urnovitz, Ph.D., CEO of Chronix. "Using our proprietary technology and next-generation sequencers, we were able to identify distinctive DNA signatures indicating the presence of BSE in all of the infected animals well before clinical symptoms appeared."
These new findings follow three previous published studies demonstrating the utility of using serum DNA to identify human cancers, human infectious disease and BSE. For example, a study reported in the December issue of the journal Blood showed that serum DNA was able to identify a secondary cancer in a patient before it was clinically apparent.
Of special interest in this current study is the finding that these DNA signatures occurred primarily in non-coding regions of the genome, where geneticists typically would not look. Chronix scientists believe these findings may lead to a better understanding of the genetics of disease development, while advancing Chronix's own ability to harness these early changes for diagnostic and prognostic applications.