Diagnosing cancer, pregnancy complications

Diagnosing cancer or pregnancy complications
© Thinkstock

Based on their previous discovery of progesterone-induced blocking factor (PIBF), European scientists have developed a diagnostic assay that could be used to detect pregnancy complications or cancer.

PIBF is a required for maintaining a normal pregnancy. PIBF levels in the urine and blood of healthy pregnant women increase during pregnancy and decrease rapidly during delivery.

Previous work had shown that PIBF levels in women with were significantly lower, and demonstrated that PIBF blocks the autoimmune response which normally leads to the killing of rapidly growing fetal tissue.

Surprisingly, high levels of PIBF have been detected in , suggesting that it constitutes an essential marker for their discovery. The EU-funded PIBF proposal planned to develop a novel testing assay to diagnose malignant tumours, monitor tumour therapy and diagnose premature abortion risk.

Project scientists developed and validated an enzyme-linked immuno sorbent assay (ELISA) for measuring PIBF protein in biological fluids. Although the assay presented with limited sensitivity and precision due to the of the tested protein, it exhibited great reproducibility, making it ideal for inter-laboratory testing.

GMP grade reagents were also produced for the application of the assay in a clinical setting. Studies on clinical samples confirmed the potential role of PIBF in certain pathological pregnancies, and the elevated expression of PIBF in certain cancer patients.

However, similarly to other marketed tumour marker tests, the PIBF ELISA alone did not provide sufficient specificity and sensitivity to be used as a single screening . The developers of this kit are nonetheless hopeful that in combination with other diagnostic tests, this assay will contribute to the higher diagnostic standards of pathological pregnancies and malignant tumours.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New biomarker may help diagnose ectopic pregnancies

Nov 04, 2010

Researchers may have identified a promising novel diagnostic biomarker for ectopic pregnancy, according to a study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) ...

New technology sheds light on viruses

Apr 10, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Diagnostic tests that rapidly detect disease-causing viruses in animals and humans are being developed by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists using a new technology called "surface-enhanced ...

Recommended for you

Organovo has 3D-printed liver tissue for drug testing

Nov 20, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—The commercial release of 3D printed liver tissue was announced earlier this week. Organovo is the company behind the release. The product is intended for use for preclinical drug discovery ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.