January 25, 2023
1 minute read
Duke Health press release
This study was funded by the NIH.
According to a Duke Health press release, a new blood test may provide a more accurate way to track and predict the progression of knee osteoarthritis than current approaches.
The test is based on a range of biomarkers and fills a “significant gap” in OA research as researchers are generally unable to enroll appropriate patients in clinical trials in the absence of reliable ways to predict the risk of OA progression. to identify and predict, read a statement from Duke Health, in Durham, North Carolina.
“Therapies are lacking, but it’s difficult to develop and test new therapies because we don’t have a good way to identify the right patients for therapy,” VIrginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD, a professor in the departments of medicine, pathology and orthopedic surgery at Duke University School of Medicine, and senior author of the study, said in the release. The study is published in Scientific progress.
To help researchers identify and predict OA progression, Kraus and colleagues, conducted a study that isolated more than a dozen molecules in the blood associated with disease progression.
The researchers were able to narrow down a list of molecules involved to 15 markers associated with 13 proteins. The proteins can be examined and counted via a blood sample, read the press release.
According to the researchers, these markers accurately predicted 73% of nonprogressive patients’ progressives in 596 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Meanwhile, markers currently in use, using pain assessments and urine proteins, show lower prediction accuracy, 59% and 58%, respectively.
“In addition to being more accurate, this new biomarker has the added benefit of being a blood-based test,” Kraus said in the release. “Blood is an easily accessible bio-specimen, making it an important way to identify people for participation in clinical trials and those most in need of treatment.”
The new blood-based marker set was also successful in identifying patients whose joints showed progression on X-ray scans, regardless of pain symptoms, Duke said.
“It’s a chicken-and-egg situation,” Kraus said in the release. “In the near future, this new test will help identify people at high risk of progressive disease — those who are likely to have both pain and worsening damage on X-rays — who should be enrolled in clinical trials. Then we can learn whether a therapy is helpful.”