Inflammatory Biomarker Series: CRP
An inflammatory biomarker detects inflammation in the body. Inflammation is not just the immediate, short-term response of the body to an injury or infection. Inflammation within the body can be a long-term, chronic condition resulting in a number of health implications. In diagnostics, measurement of an inflammatory biomarker can not only detect acute inflammation but provide a marker of treatment response.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute phase protein produced by the liver in response to inflammation, infection and tissue injury. CRP is a particularly beneficial inflammatory biomarker as it is detected much faster than other markers in the blood. Levels of CRP increase when inflammation occurs and therefore it can be a significant biomarker in a range of diseases, including the following.
An increasing amount of research exists to suggest CRP is not only a useful, non-specific inflammatory biomarker, but it may have a direct influence on coronary heart disease and cardiac events1. Inflammation can occur when LDL cholesterol builds up in the artery walls causing atherosclerosis. Modifiable risk factors of atherosclerosis include smoking, diabetes, poor diet, high blood pressure and physical inactivity, all factors which subsequently increase the risk of heart attacks, ischemic stroke, peripheral artery disease and even vascular dementia2,3.
Studies have also shown that persistent low levels of CRP can contribute to a person developing CVD. Therefore using high sensitivity CRP as an inflammatory biomarker can detect low levels, helping to predict the likelihood of a patient developing CVD in the future.
Research suggests that inflammation in the body can influence the development of type 2 diabetes. With the ability to be managed through diet and exercise, type 2 diabetes is commonly associated with obesity. Research has shown that excess body fat can cause continuous chronic low-grade inflammation as a result of inflammatory cytokines and increased plasma levels of CRP. As a result, this chronic inflammation has the ability to cause insulin resistance leading to the development of type 2 diabetes4.
A three year study which analysed the bone and joint health of 10,000 patient samples in India has found that inflammatory biomarkers, in particular CRP and ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate) were raised in most of the samples compared to any other markers5. Although CRP is a non-specific inflammatory biomarker, it can be used alongside other tests, such as Rheumatoid Factor, to diagnose inflammatory joint diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Not only will CRP levels be higher due to chronic inflammation, but CRP levels can be monitored to assess levels of inflammation over time, allowing clinicians offer effective treatment.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a condition associated with inflammation of the lungs and airways. Studies have shown that measuring CRP levels is beneficial to detect exacerbations, when symptoms of COPD get suddenly worse and can last for several days. This is because CRP levels spike when exacerbations happen, causing lung function to deteriorate6.
Neonatal Bacterial Infections
CRP is one of the preferred and frequently used tests in neonatal units when diagnosing suspected bacterial infections, such as neonatal sepsis, in newborns who show signs on infection. Due to delayed synthesis during the inflammatory response, the sensitivity of CRP is lowest during early stages of infection. It is therefore critical that extremely low levels of CRP can be detected during diagnosis to distinguish whether symptoms are related to an infectious or non-infectious condition. This early detection then allows for rapid and appropriate neonatal treatment7.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Research suggests that using CRP as an inflammatory biomarker can help distinguish between Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)8. Although IBD and IBS have some similarities in symptoms, IBD causes chronic inflammation, whereas IBS is a non-inflammatory condition. Therefore using CRP as a biomarker can allow clinicians to deliver a confident and accurate diagnosis.
For health professionals
Randox Laboratories manufacture a wide range routine and niche biochemistry reagents for use in both a research and clinical setting. With a wide measuring range, the Randox CRP assay will perform excellently to detect levels outside of the healthy range. Also available is a Full Range CRP assay particularly beneficial for use in a neonatal setting, and a High Sensitivity CRP assay, depending on your diagnostic requirements. For more information, please contact: email@example.com
- Shrivastava, A. K., Singh, H.V., Raizada, A. and Singh, S.K. C-reactive protein, inflammation and coronary heart disease. The Egyptian Heart Journal. 67, 89-97. (2015)
- American Heart Association. Inflammation and Heart Disease. Available from: https://goo.gl/d82Ynr (2016)
- Harvard Health Publications. What you eat can fuel or cool inflammation. Harvard Health Publications. Available from: https://goo.gl/e8m3El (2007)
- Zeyda, M. and Stulnig, T. M. Obesity, Inflammation, and Insulin Resistance – A Mini-Review. Gerontology 2009; 55:379-386 (2009)
- Mukherjeel, R. Bone and joint health are crucial aspect, usually ignored by Indians. The Times of India. Available from: https://goo.gl/qluzhI (2016)
- Anderson, G. P. COPD, asthma and C-reactive protein. European Respiratory Journal 2006; 27: 874-876. (2006)
- Hofer, N., Zacharias, E., Müller, W. and Resch, B. An update on the Use of C-Reactive Protein in Early-Onset Neonatal Sepsis: Current Insights and New Tasks. Neonatology 2012; 102: 25-36 (2012)
- Silva, P. Two Specific Proteins Allow the Exclusion of IBD in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBD News Today. Available from: https://goo.gl/pxMP53 (2015)
Cholesterol is a fatty substance also known as a lipid. It is made by the liver but can also be found in some foods. It is essential to let the body function normally. You will be sad to hear that high levels can increase your risk of serious health conditions. There are two main types; high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). HDL is known as good cholesterol. It carries cholesterol back to the liver, where it is broken down. LDL on the other hand carries cholesterol to the cells however if there is a surplus it can build up in the artery walls increasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke occurring.
Here are some scary facts about cholesterol…
- You can’t live without it – Cholesterol has been in your body since the day you were born. It is a building block for all cells. Not only that but all of our cells and hormones need it to function properly…unfortunately you are very unlikely to find good cholesterol in your typical trick-or-treat offerings.
- Not all patients on cholesterol-lowering medication respond optimally to it – In the recent past, aspirin (a drug used to reduce levels) was prescribed for people who had a perceived risk of a heart attack. However aspirin does not always work; up to 30% of patients could have a below optimum response to the drug and therefore be at a considerably increased risk of a recurrent cardiovascular event. This is may also be referred to as “aspirin resistance”.
- One third of adults have high cholesterol – Testing is advised every 5 years to monitor your levels to see any changes. To get the most accurate results tests should be carried out one week apart, however most testing facilities won’t follow this.
- High levels could be down to genetics – Diet you can change, genes you can’t! If your family has a history of high cholesterol then you are likely to have it as well. It has been suggested that 75% of cholesterol is due to genetics and the remaining 25% is down to diet and lifestyle choices.
- Women’s levels will fluctuate over their lifespan – Did you know that ladies? During the average woman’s lifespan, cholesterol levels will rise and fall due to pregnancy and menopause. During pregnancy levels will rise in order to help the baby develop. After birth the mother’s levels should return to normal however after menopause a woman’s LDL levels will rise to that higher of a man’s.
However it is not all doom and gloom this Halloween! Randox are here to treat you to a vast range of specialised blood tests to allow the most accurate diagnosis of cholesterol levels, allowing you to gauge how many sweets you can sneak in this Halloween! We offer a large array of routine and niche tests. The most popular and widely tested are HDL, LDL, total cholesterol and triglycerides. Some further risk assessment cholesterol tests which are not routinely run include sLDL, HDL3, Lp(a). These cholesterol biomarkers are also affected by the usual risk factors such as age, weight, smoking, etc.; however they can also be a result of one’s genes. As mentioned before aspirin resistance is a big problem affecting up to 30% of all patients on aspirin therapy. However Randox offer the TxBCardio™ test which is a unique test to diagnose and assess the effectiveness of aspirin therapy.
From all of us here at Randox we wish you a safe and happy Halloween!
For health professionals
Randox Laboratories manufacture a wide range of routine and niche biochemistry reagents suitable for both research and clinical use. These include a wide variety of automated routine and niche cardiac tests and our new HDL3-C assay. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Do you want to have optimal brain function later in life? We do. The majority of people focus on keeping their bodies in optimal condition but often forget about the most important organ, the brain. With more of us living until we’re much older, reduced brain function and Alzheimer’s are becoming increasingly more common; it is one of the most feared consequences of aging. We expect our bodies to age due to wear and tear; however there are easy ways to slow it, you will be glad to hear. Here are some top tips to keep your brain health at its peak.
- Get physical exercise
It is becoming an increasingly well-known fact by scientists that regular exercise may be the single most important thing you can do to ensure optimum brain health. The reason for this is that exercise increases the blood supply to your brain so therefore increases your brain capacity. Experts advise 30 minutes of exercise every other day to ensure good mental health. Exercise also helps with cholesterol levels, mental stress and diabetes.
- Eat, eat, eat
Good nutrition is also essential for good brain health. Your brain is no different to any other organ: the better the fuel it receives; the better it works, simple. As with everything it is important to keep your calories in check as it has been proven to reduce mental illness. We aim to reduce the consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol as these can decrease brain function. No matter who you are, vitamins are also very important to ensure not only a healthy brain, but a healthy body. Vitamins of particular importance are folic acid, B6 and B12 which it is well-known can help lower your homocysteine levels. There is an ever-growing body of research which suggests that homocysteine levels have a strong correlation with Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you would like to read more about the link between homocysteine and Alzheimer’s, check out our previous blog post ‘How important is homocysteine research for Alzheimer’s disease?’
- Get enough sleep
Recent studies have suggested that a poor sleeping pattern is linked with cognitive decline in old age. A good night’s rest can actually double the chances of finding creative solutions to problems faced in everyday life! It has been proven that when we don’t sleep, proteins build up on the brain. These proteins build on the synapses, making it hard to think and learn new information; which is not conducive to good brain health.
Relaxation is key in a healthy lifestyle. Stress has a negative impact on the brain. It creates harmful chemicals to flow over areas of the brain that are in control of memory. Too much of these chemicals can lead to dementia and other memory loss related diseases, so maybe it’s not such a bad idea that you take that trip to the Bahamas you were thinking about!
- Improve you cholesterol
Cholesterol is commonly split up into good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). There are loads of ways to improve your cholesterol levels such as exercise, weight control, dieting and avoiding tobacco. It is very important to keep you levels of LDL down as high levels can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and cardiac problems in old age. At Randox we are constantly coming up with new and exciting ways of monitoring your cholesterol and the launch of our new HDL3 test is coming soon. For more information on HDL3, check it out here!
- Brain exercises
Challenging your mind from time to time is important for good brain health; it keeps your brain active and uses cognitive thought to try and learn or solve a problem. It is thought that a lack of education is a strong influence in cognitive decline. Challenging your brain improves memory, develops critical thinking and stimulates the whole brain ensuring brain health is kept to a maximum. It can often be done in fun ways like brain teasers, puzzles and jigsaws. Check out our recent brain teaser here!
These are only some of the ways in which to keep your brain in peak condition. Aging will take a toll on everyone and it is impossible to avoid; however these 6 techniques can help maintain optimal brain function! We have been keeping up to date with Alzheimer’s in celebration of World Alzheimer’s Month. Remember a healthy brain is the key to success!
For health professionals
Randox Laboratories manufacture a wide range of routine and niche biochemistry reagents suitable for both research and clinical use. These include an automated homocysteine test and our new HDL3 cholesterol assay. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
The transition period between late pregnancy and the onset of lactation requires quick metabolic adaption by dairy cattle as foetal growth, calving and the onset of lactation causes increased energy demands on the body. To support the increase in energy requirements, increased nutrients are required; however, limitations to dietary intake can occur as a result of reduced appetite caused by the growing foetus restricting the size of the rumen. In addition, during this period almost all glucose intake is utilised for lactose synthesis. As a result, during the transition period dairy cattle can be prone to negative energy balance.
Negative energy balance occurs when energy demands exceed dietary intake, and in cases where energy requirements are not met by diet, dairy cattle will utilise their own fat reserves as an energy source; this being non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), a major component of triglycerides (fats) in the body. Excessive metabolism of NEFA, however, can result in accumulation of fat which can result in fatty liver disease (resulting in decreased liver function), and ketosis which can be toxic and damaging to the liver and kidneys (it has been associated with pregnancy complications, decreased milk production and hypoglycaemia).
Additionally, during the transition period, as a result of the increase in metabolic processes, dairy cattle are more susceptible to metabolic stress. This is due to the increase in Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).
ROS are free radical by-products of normal metabolic processes which can be harmful and destructive to the cells in the body. To defend against them the body utilises antioxidants to inhibit the formation of free radicals, destroy free radicals or repair the damage caused by free radicals; however if there is an imbalance of antioxidants to ROS then the body’s natural defence system is decreased. This can result in free radical damage to surrounding cells, tissue and DNA.
Free radicals have been implicated in many disease states in addition to suppression of the immune response system. As a result, in the first 10 days after calving dairy cows are at maximum risk of infectious and metabolic disorders; in fact, approximately 75% of disease occurs in herds within the first month of lactation (Abuelo et al. 2014). Complications for dairy cattle suffering metabolic stress include not only fatty liver disease and ketosis, but also mastitis, retained foetal membranes, reduced milk production and increased risk of cancer, CVD, lung, liver and renal disease, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, infectious conditions, and, neurological disorders.
How can the health and well-being of dairy cattle be protected during the transition period?
To ensure animal well-being, and indeed reduce economic impact for dairy farmers, dairy cattle should be monitored for their antioxidant capacity, particularly during pregnancy. As the antioxidant defence system includes many components, the Total Antioxidant Status (TAS) test is used to assess overall antioxidant capacity. This test is beneficial in gaining an overall view of the body’s ability to defend against free radical attack; it can therefore help to determine if nutritional supplements are required to ensure good body condition during the transition period. Further antioxidant testing may be required to ensure nutritional requirements are fully understood before antioxidant supplementation begins.
In addition, the NEFA test indicates negative energy balance, and can therefore be used to monitor whether their nutrient intake is adequate for the high energy demands experienced during the transition period. Additionally, research (Li, H.Q et al. 2016) has found that supplementing dairy cattle with rumen-protected folic acid (RPFA) may benefit negative energy balance by decreasing plasma concentrations of NEFA and increasing glucose plasma. Results show increased milk protein levels and improved nutrient ingestion, milk production and reproductive performance.
Abuelo A., Hernandez J. and Beneditor J.L (2014) The importance of oxidative status of dairy carrel in the periparturient period: revisiting antioxidant supplementation. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition. 99(6):1003-1016
Li, H. Q., et al. (2016) Effects of dietary supplements of rumen-protected folic acid on lactation performance, energy balance, blood parameters and reproductive performance in dairy cows. Animal Feed Science and Technology
It is widely recognised that high homocysteine levels in the blood (hyperhomocysteinemia) can cause inflammation in the blood vessels, which in turn may lead to atherogenesis and ischemic injury. High homocysteine levels are therefore a possible risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD), or heart disease.
However a new study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis in April 2016 (conducted by Young Cheul Chung and colleagues, from Rockefeller University in New York City) has looked into the growing evidence to suggest that hyperhomocysteinemia is also correlated with Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. This study was undertaken to clarify the specific role of elevated homocysteine levels in Alzheimer’s disease pathophysiology.
The study was carried out on mice, and showed a promising link between high levels of homocysteine and Alzheimer’s disease. It showed that diet-induced hyperhomocysteinemia in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model leads to severe cerebral amyloid angiopathy and parenchymal amyloid-β deposition, as well as significant impairments in learning and memory, suggesting that elevated levels of plasma homocysteine and its metabolite, homocysteine thiolactone, contribute to Alzheimer’s disease pathology.
Commenting on an earlier study, Dr Susanne Sorensen, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society UK said that the molecule [homocysteine] is carried by everyone, but those who go on to develop some dementias appear to have higher levels of the compound. She also stressed that research is needed to establish just what role if any homocysteine plays in the development of dementia and how best to keep levels of the molecule low.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive mental decline that can occur in middle to old age, due to a degeneration of the brain. It is the most common cause of premature senility, and is also the most common form of dementia, affecting 62% of those diagnosed. Vascular dementia is another form, affecting 17% of those diagnosed.
Paul McGivern, Clinical Chemistry R&D Manager at global healthcare company Randox Laboratories, has commented
“Dementia is a terminal condition and with 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, there is an urgent need for further research into the link between Alzheimer’s disease and homocysteine levels. If we can better establish this link, it may give future researchers the tools necessary to find a prevention, or even a cure to this condition.”
With the number of dementia sufferers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025, soaring to 2 million by 2051, the need for further research into the link between homocysteine levels and Alzheimer’s disease has never been more pressing.
For health professionals
Randox Laboratories offer an automated test for the biochemistry measurement of homocysteine. This is available for use on a wide range of manufacturer’s analysers. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information, or to request a kit insert or application.
Randox employees enjoyed a bake sale yesterday at our headquarters in Crumlin. The bake sale was hosted by Randox employee Rachel Walls on behalf of her sister, Ursula McKenna, who will be running both the Dublin Marathon and Manchester half Marathon later this year in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Ursula McKenna has raised an impressive £3000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and is set to continue her efforts in raising money for this great cause. Having run the London Marathon twice, with the last one completed on Sunday 24th April, her motivation stems from personal empathy of the condition;
‘Our cousin suffers from Cystic Fibrosis, and running a few marathons is easy compared to what he has to deal with on a daily basis’
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic condition caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt and water across the cell wall. This causes mucus to build up in the lungs and digestive tract, causing problems with breathing and digestion. An estimated 1 in 2,500 babies born in the UK have Cystic Fibrosis, with more than 2.5 million people in the UK carrying the faulty gene. Currently there is no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, however there are treatments to help manage the symptoms.
Ursula’s dedication to the cause is evident and this extends to her family through their help and support. The bake sale hosted by Rachel yesterday at Randox included scrumptious treats made by the family, and helped raise £308! In addition to hosting fundraising events, her brother also ran the New York Marathon in 2014 and will be joining Ursula in running the Dublin Marathon in October. Hoping to beat her previous completion times of 4:27 in her first marathon and 4:07 in her second marathon, Ursula aims to complete the Dublin Marathon in less than 4 hours. Good luck!
Global healthcare company Randox, recently unveiled as the main sponsor for the Grand National under the banner of Randox Health, is committed to supporting local grass roots horse racing, as this weekend it hosts the Point-to-Point Steeplechases at Crumlin, County Antrim, in association with the Killultagh, Old Rock and Chichester Hunt.
Point-to-Points are now firmly established in national hunt racing, with several champion horses starting their careers on the Irish Point-to-Point circuit.
Following the Randox Point-to-Point 2014, Classic Place was sold to Gigginstown House Stud, owned by Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, who we all know to be the owner of The Crabbie’s Grand National 2016 winner, Rule The World.
Last year multiple All Ireland Champion Derek O’Connor registered a double, partnering Ballycross to victory for Templepatrick trainer Colin McKeever and leading local owner Wilson Dennison, followed by Chosen Dream at the fifth. O’Connor also recorded a brace of winners having scored with Sister Saragh at the first and Frost at the fifth.
But don’t worry if you’re not a racing enthusiast – the Randox Point-to-Point is the perfect day out for all the family. The increasingly popular event will host a unique Artisan village, showcasing a variety of food, drink and crafts stalls including, homemade jams, chutneys and sauces, ceramics, handmade chocolate and jewellery, woollen knits, handmade tea towels and tote bags, cakes, photography and much more!
Randox Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, highlighted the company’s equestrian heritage and is looking forward to both this year’s Point-to-Point, and next year’s Grand National:
“We are pleased to host the Point-to-Point with the Killultagh, Old Rock and Chichester Hunt, where champions are made. As a global company with firm links to our local heritage, we are proud to be involved with grass roots equestrian sports, which are part of the local community and sports scene. This history of being involved in equestrian events has naturally progressed to our sponsorship of the Grand National, and is fitting with our ambition. We look forward to this year’s two day Point-to-Point – where we might spot a future Randox Health Grand National winner!”
The Randox Point-to-Point will take place on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd of April, at Largy Road in Crumlin. The first race on Friday 22nd of April will start at 4pm; on Saturday 23rd of April, the first race takes place at 2pm.
General admission is £5 per person, with free entry for children under the age of 16.
Admission via the Laurelbank, Largy Road Crumlin, BT29 4RN.
Craft stalls are provided by North Down Crafts Collective and The Prince’s Trust charity.
For more information on the Randox Point-to-Point, email email@example.com
This week, Randox Testing Services opened the doors of its laboratory to BBC Newsline, and Donna Traynor, to offer an expert opinion on legal highs. Legal highs are mood-altering or stimulant substances whose sale is not banned by current legislation. They are made up of various chemical ingredients and replicate a similar user experience of illegal drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy and cocaine. They are extremely addictive and can have fatal side effects.
April 2016 marks the anniversary of one such case. The tragic passing of Adam Owens, a 17 year old boy who died after taking a legal high known as Sky brought this issue to the spotlight, and now one year on, the BBC want to know what is being done to tackle this issue.
The most difficult issue to combat with legal highs is that their chemical make-up is constantly being altered in order to get around legislation. As they keep changing it is difficult to create tests for these substances as they constantly evolve. Addressing this issue, Dr Mark Piper, Head of Toxicology at Randox Testing Services explained what is currently being done to try and counter this problem:
“We counter it here at Randox by continually developing new tests. In the past 12 months, Randox has developed over 115 new tests for new types of psychoactive substances.
These drugs are continually being developed and evolving into new types of substances which have previously fallen outside of the legislation, so it is a challenge for the likes of ourselves as drug testing laboratories to continually develop new tests to detect these substances.”
The prevalence of legal high use makes this an issue that cannot be avoided. Randox Testing Services are dedicated in their commitment to continually develop new tests in the fight against legal highs.
This week saw the publication of The Sunday Times Profit Track 100, and we are delighted to announce that Randox has been named at number 65 in the league table which ranks the 100 private UK companies with the fastest-growing profits over a three-year period.
Stuart Lisle, of BDO Accountants, featured Randox in his piece; ‘Innovation and trade make a good formula for expansion’, noting impressive findings that:
- Randox supplies 10% of the world’s cholesterol tests
- Our diagnostic products are used in 145 countries across the globe
Stuart Lisle commented;
“After outperforming most of our peers, Britain is entering a period of economic uncertainty: stock markets are volatile, growth in China is slowing, Europe’s recovery has stalled and, as the Bank of England governor Mark Carney noted in March, the possibility of Brexit is not helping. Our polling shows that 70% of mid-market companies think leaving the EU would make running their businesses harder but there are strong arguments on both sides of the debate.
Thankfully, while our politicians talk in Westminster, our mid-market companies are getting on with business, driving growth by innovating at home and trading overseas.
This year’s Profit Track 100 contains numerous examples. Just look at what Peter FitzGerald, founder of Randox Laboratories is achieving. From humble beginnings in his parents’ garden shed in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, he has developed the firm into one the supplies 10% of the world’s cholesterol tests as well as a range of other diagnostic instruments used in 145 countries…and it is one of 55 companies in this year’s Profit Track 100 that are growing by selling internationally.”
We would like to thank Stuart for recognising our success and innovation. We are extremely proud of how far the company has come – from humble beginnings over 34 years ago, to a company with more than 1400 employees of 44 nationalities, including 300 research scientists and engineers.
Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox said:
“The growth that we have witnessed over the last 3 years principally enables us to further strengthen our infrastructure and increase the world leading research and development we are conducting – to achieve the earliest possible diagnosis of a very wide range of clinical conditions. We remain dedicated to saving lives and improving health worldwide, and reinvesting our profits helps ensure that we will realise our vision.”
The Profit Track 100 league table is compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based research and networking events firm.
Global healthcare company Randox, recently unveiled as the sponsors for the Grand National 2017 under the banner of Randox Health, today announced it has been awarded an Innovate UK Award, for their pioneering work in the development of a diagnostic test for Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients.
Randox’s award-winning test will enable the stratification of Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) patients, to determine patient response, before chemotherapeutic treatment. Currently, aggressive chemotherapy is given at diagnosis for the 2900 patients diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia every year in the UK, yet up to 40% of patients do not respond to this treatment due to the type of their cancer cells, and the patient’s genetic make-up.
The competition was therefore designed to promote the development of new diagnostic products and services for use in stratified medicine; in this case studying groups of leukemia patients to predict which treatments their cancers are likely to respond to.
Dr Cherith Reid, Project Manager for the AML Test at Randox, commented;
“As with any illness, it is important to select the best treatment and care for AML patients based on their diagnosis. The majority of AML patients are over 60 years old, and with the rise in the elderly population, increased prevalence of the disease is predicted. Currently, patients in this age range who are deemed fit for treatment are prescribed cytarabine chemotherapy, where the patient’s reaction to this drug is uninformed and is based on a trial-and-error approach. The information provided by our test will allow us to identify patients whose cancer is drug responsive, and treat them accordingly, possibly with lower doses of chemotherapy, reducing its severe side-effects. We want to assist clinicians in selecting the best treatment and care for patients as early as possible to improve patient outcomes.”
Phase one of the project includes an economic study to measure the health economic benefits for The National Health Service, conducted by The National Institute for Health Research Diagnostic Evidence Co-Operative London.
Professor George Hanna, NIHR DEC London Centre Director, commented;
“The stratification of patients within the NHS has been widely acknowledged as an important method for the efficient use of resources, as well as improving patient experience. New in vitro diagnostic tests that can classify patients in this way – such as the test being developed at Randox for Leukemia patients – personalise patient care to better inform treatment decisions which will hopefully lead to improved health outcomes and fewer side effects. This is particularly important for Leukemia patients who face the severe side effects of chemotherapy. Through the collaboration of Randox Laboratories and the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative London, we have a unique opportunity to evaluate the adoption pathway of the new Randox AML technology to translate it to the bedside where it can best benefit patient care.”
“Determining Acute Myeloid Leukemia patient response to chemotherapeutic treatment” was selected by Innovate UK in the “Stratified Medicine: connecting the UK infrastructure” competition.
Pictured: Dr Cherith Reid