Cambridge, Mass. – May 5, 2015 – sphingotec, LLC, predictive diagnostic tests for cancer, cardiovascular diseases and kidney function, today announced the results of a survey gauging women’s understanding of breast cancer risk factors and their perceptions of common breast cancer screening methods. The survey was conducted in conjunction with a national, independent health information resource for women, and found that of the 464 anonymous respondents, the majority of women do not discuss breast cancer risk factors or the guidelines and limitations of mammography screenings with their healthcare providers.
“Mammograms remain an important screening tool and can save lives by helping detect some cases of breast cancer early, however women are not aware of the limitations of mammography, nor are they aware of their personal risk factors leading to breast cancer, according to the survey,” said Karla Gonye, president, sphingotec, LLC. “The results of the survey give us insight into the market need for breast cancer biomarkers beyond BRCA 1/2 and further indicate the desire for more risk predictive tests so that women and their doctors can make more informed decisions about their risk of breast cancer.”
New research identifies blood biomarker as decisive link between fat intake and risk for cardiovascular disesases, diabetes and obesity; spingotec‘s revolutionary sphingotest®pro-NT test measures neurotensin levels to help prevent certain diseases
Hennigsdorf, Germany – May 12, 2016
Excess weight and obesity, as well as the cardiovascular diseases and diabetes that these conditions are associated with, rank among the most widespread conditions in the world’s most developed countries. In the U.S. alone, nearly 70 percent of the population is overweight and 35 percent is obese, according to the World Health Organiztion. In an article published in the scientific journal , Swedish and U.S. researchers demonstrate the link for the very first time between neurotensin values and the development of obesity. The hormone neurotensin can show when men and women of normal weight are at risk of becoming overweight and developing the diseases associated with carrying excess weight.
Researchers at the University of Malmö in Sweden have already used two major population studies to show the link between an increased concentration of the hormone neurotensin and the risk of developing certain diseases, in particular, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and breast cancer. Now, in their latest article published in Nature, Swedish and U.S. researchers have proven that the level of neurotensin in the blood indicates whether individuals of normal weight could become obese.
Their work shows that neurotensin holds the key to how individuals utilize and absorb fat. Long known as the “fat insulin,” neurotensin is released in the small intestine, particularly when animal fats are consumed. The results now published in Nature show that neurotensin is the decisive link between fat intake and the risk of developing certain diseases. People with a low fasting level of neurotensin tend not to become obese despite consuming fat and have a low risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and breast cancer.
Researchers at biotechnology company sphingotec in Henningsdorf, Germany, have developed the sphingotest® pro-NT test that allows blood levels of neurotensin to be measured for the first time.
“Unlike genetic factors, the concentration of neurotensin in the blood is a variable that can change depending on eating habits and other lifestyle factors,” explains Dr. Andreas Bergmann, founder and owner of sphingotec. “People with a low neurotensin level have a better chance of living longer and staying healthy.”
Neurotensin levels can be measured as part of routine diagnostic processes using the sphingotest® pro-NT test, which is evaluated in labs using a fasting EDTA blood sample and a standard laboratory immunodiagnostic procedure (Immunoassay). For more on sphingotec and its sphingotest® pro-NT test, please visit www.sphingotec.com.
The biotechnology company sphingotec GmbH, headquartered in Hennigsdorf, Germany was founded in 2002. sphingotec aims to reduce or eliminate the risk of serious diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and kidney conditions. The process starts before the disease has actually developed: using biomarkers to indicate susceptibility for a specific disease provides healthy individuals with the knowledge that they are at risk. What makes the approach so special is that the biomarkers also create a starting point for preventative strategies at the same time, as evidence-based recommendations on how to reduce risks are always an integral part of the complete concept. Further information can be found on our website at www.sphingotec.de
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A study on centenarians links sphingotec’s biomarker bio-Adrenomedullin (bio-ADM) to longevity
Human longevity has been previously linked by researchers to genetic factors, calorie restriction, and certain life-style factors such as physical activity or the Mediterranean diet. Now, Italian researchers from La Sapienza University in Rome have identified an additional factor, which significantly contributes to a longer life. In a pilot study on some of the oldest people of the world, they discovered that the perfusion of organs and muscles of the centenarians was as efficient as that in people who were 30 years younger. Results of the CIAO (Cilento Intitiative on Aging Outcome) pilot study, presented today in the Italian town of Pollica, suggest that low blood levels of the peptide hormone Adrenomedullin (bio-ADM) are an indicator for such a good microcirculation. Making longevity measurable has long been a scientific goal as it could open up the avenue to a systematic identification of factors contributing to an extended life span.
Prof. Salvatore Di Somma and his team carried out comprehensive health and life style assessments of two study groups that live in the Cilento region, located in the province of Salerno in southern Italy: In the first were 29 so-called ‘SuperAgers’ (median age 92 years), while the second was made up of 52 younger relatives (median age 60 years, living in the same household) who are expected to live just as long because they have the same genetic background and have been exposed to the same environmental and lifestyle factors. Blood biomarker analyses were carried out by the diagnostic company sphingotec (Hennigsdorf, Germany). It measured levels of the heart-function biomarker MR-proANP, as well as a marker for kidney function (penKid) and bio-ADM. The last is a regulator of vasodilation and blood vessel integrity, which both affect blood pressure. The results were compared to those of a cohort of 194 healthy persons (median age 63.9 years), who were monitored over eight years in the earlier Malmö Preventive Project (MPP, Principal Investigator Professor Olle Melander, Lund University, Sweden).
As expected, low values of MR-proANP and penKid among the subjects in the two younger control groups indicated no signs of heart or kidney dysfunction. In contrast, both biomarkers were elevated in the SuperAgers, possibly due to the process of organ aging. However, even though the older group had levels of the two biomarkers that were as high as those found in patients experiencing heart failure (HF) or acute kidney injury (AKI), they were in clinically good condition. Surprisingly, in the group of SuperAgers, the bio-ADM values – which are often pathologically elevated in HF or AKI patients – were as low as those in both reference groups.
“Very low concentrations of this biomarker indicate a well-functioning endothelial and microcirculatory system allowing good blood perfusion of organs and muscles,“ concludes Di Somma. A good microcirculation is what makes marathon runners perform better at the same heart rate than the average man or woman on the street.
“We are excited about the connection between bio-ADM levels and a good microcirculation as an indicator for good quality of life”, says sphingotec founder Andreas Bergmann, who was instrumental in developing the bio-ADM assay. “If bio-ADM proves to be a reliable biomarker for longevity this will open up the avenue to a systematic analysis of the factors contributing to longevity“, he adds. ”We are excited to contribute to the identification of lifestyle factors ensuring a good microcirculation.”
The researchers are currently planning to extend the pilot study to 2,000 people from the Cilento region. One major goal of the follow-up study is to investigate whether certain components of the local Mediterranean diet could affect the bio-ADM level. The cuisine typical to the region traditionally uses number of plants native to the area. Another idea is to bring people with high bio-ADM levels to Cilento and measure whether the local environment has an effect on levels of the microcirculation biomarke
The CIAO (Cilento Intitiative on Aging Outcome) study was designed to identify life style, genetic and epigenetic factors contributing to longevity in the Cilento region. With an average life expectancy of 92 years for women (Italian average: 84) and 85 years for men (Italian average: 79), the Cilento has one of the world’s highest concentrations of centenarians – even higher than in Okinawa (Japan), the most intensively investigated centenarian hotspot. The contributors to the current pilot study were identified through local physicians who acquired the informed consent of their patients. A mobile bus equipped with all instrumentation for a comprehensive health assessment was used to visit the study participants. Additionally, blood samples for biomarker analysis were taken and participants were interviewed about their life style habits.
Microcirculation describes blood flow through the smallest vessels (capillaries) in the circulatory system. In these regions, oxygen and nutrients are directly delivered to cells, while metabolic debris, toxins and CO2 are winnowed out. Blood pressure and body temperature is also controlled by the microcirculation through dilation or constriction of the capillary network that penetrates muscles, organs and skin. If put end-to-end, the body’s capillaries would stretch 90,000-110,000 kilometers – more than twice the circumference of Earth. If placed side-by-side, they would cover an area the size of two football fields (500-700 sqm). On average, people have around 200-300 capillaries/mm2, but endurance athletes like runners can have up to 40% more (300-500 capillaries/mm2). This contributes to better muscle perfusion, oxygen supply and performance.
Salvatore Di Somma (63), Professor of Internal Medicine at the University La Sapienza in Rome, is the organizer of the CIAO pilot study. Strong personal links have given him unique access to the population of centenarians living in the Cilento. In previous studies, he identified rosemary as an ethnobotanically conserved part of the local Mediterranean cuisine that might could be contributing to longevity in the region. Conserved gene variants associated with longevity were also identified in Cilento’s population in the Southern Italy Centenarian Study (SICS). The variants affect insulin sensitivity (FOXOA3, CAMMIV), RNA editing (ADARB1+2) and the aromatase pathway (Cyp19, ESR1). Additionally, a unique profile of lipids in the membrane of red blood cells (erythrocytes) was identified in 2008 within the the framework of the SICS study
Centenarian hotspots: Several regions have been identified by National Geographic writer Dan Buettner as longevity hotspots. They include Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece) and a group of Seventh-day Adventists living in Loma Linda (US, California). The Cilento, a mountainous region 150 kilometres south from Naples, is another hotspot of centenarians. Although it didn’t earn a mention in Buettner’s book on the so-called “Blue zones” of centenarians, people who live there are getting older than in Okinawa, Japan, the world’s very best-studied longevity hot-spot. Life expectation of women living in the Cilento (92 years) is 8 years above the Italian average; and that of men (85 years) 6 years above, anyway.
Adrenomedullin is a soluble peptide hormone. Mainly released by the inner layer of blood vessels (endothelial cells), its biological function is to control vasodilation, an important regulator of blood pressure and organ perfusion. In several studies involving more than 16.000 patients, the plasma level of the bioactive Adrenomedullin (bio-ADM) has been proven to predict and provide an early diagnosis for circulation dysfunction. For instance, bio-ADM blood levels rise 2-3 days before septic shock occurs. Elevated levels of bio-ADM are a specific indicator of vasodilation and leakage from microcirculatory capillaries, which in sepsis patients subsequently lead to severe hypotension, malperfusion of organs (for which the body can’t compensate by increasing the heart rate), shock and multiple organ failure. Low bio-ADM blood levels, in contrast, are a specific indicator for an intact microcirculation, ensuring good muscle and organ blood supply without any cardiovascular stress.
sphingotec announces the publication of trial results showing the strong association between low pro-enkephalin (pro-ENK) levels in plasma and incident breast cancer
Cambridge, Mass. – July 15, 2015 – sphingotec LLC announced today that the results of two studies examining the association between proenkephalin (pro-ENK) and incident breast cancer were published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The studies, which were conducted by researchers at Skåne University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden and together encompass almost 3,500 subjects, demonstrated a strong association between low plasma concentration of the opioid precursor peptide pro-ENK and increased breast cancer risk in middle-aged and post-menopausal women independent from other possible risk factors.
Although experimental studies have established that enkephalins and related opioid hormones can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, these are the first studies to investigate whether plasma concentration of pro-ENK can predict near-term breast cancer risk in healthy women. The strong association between concentrations of pro-ENK and incident breast cancer found during these studies indicates that pro-ENK is a viable tool for predicting breast cancer risk.