Heart

New Blood Tests to Diagnose and Predict Organ Failure and Rejection

The goal of the BiT Program at the PROOF Centre goal is to replace tissue biopsies with non-invasive blood tests that diagnose and predict organ failure and rejection. There is an urgent need for such tests, as tissue biopsies are unable to predict risk of rejection and cannot detect existing problems early enough to prevent long term organ damage. Additionally, biopsies are invasive, exposing patients to the risk of complications, pain, and anxiety, and burdening the healthcare system with high costs.

The PROOF Centre’s new blood tests are based on biomarkers, biological indicators that reflect patient health. The BiT initiative has already successfully discovered several unique sets of gene and protein biomarkers that reflect ongoing organ rejection, even differentiating between acute or chronic rejection responses in heart transplant patients. The BiT team has also identified biomarker sets that predict organ rejection before a transplant even occurs, allowing physicians to adjust their therapeutic approaches and patient-management strategies as needed early to ensure the most successful outcomes for each individual heart patient.

The focus of the PROOF Centre’s biomarker now is to move the biomarker tests into routine clinical practice. The identified biomarkers are being refined and used to develop clinically-relevant diagnostic assays. The diagnostic reliability of the biomarkers is also being re-tested in more diverse groups of transplant patients.