Product News: Sphingotec Announces Launch of Blood Test for Breast Cancer Prediction

03 Jan 2013

Sphingotec GmbH announced today that it will launch a blood test for the early prediction of breast cancer in women. The test will be available in Europe beginning in the second quarter of 2013. sphingotest® pro-NT is a simple blood test for the determination of proneurotensin (pro-NT). sphingotest® pro-NT detects the release of the satiety hormone neurotensin and is applicable to all female individuals, regardless of genetic predispositions. It shows great promise as a starting point for the prevention of breast cancer.

In 2010, breast cancer was diagnosed for 1.6 million patients worldwide. Breast cancer is the most frequent form of cancer in women.

"Sphingotec will offer a simple blood test that can be used by gynecologists, family doctors and clinical laboratories for women to quantify their individual risk to develop breast cancer," said Dr. Andreas Bergmann, CEO of Sphingotec GmbH. "We are confident this test will impact current prevention and early recognition programs for breast cancer and ultimately breast cancer incidence as well."

Neurotensin is a satiety hormone, released in gastrointestinal tract. The major stimulus for neurotensin production is fat. Breast cancer cell growth is stimulated by neurotensin. Since neurotensin is a very unstable peptide, Sphingotec uses the stable precursor hormone proneurotensin as a surrogate biomarker for neurotensin. High levels of proneurotensin correspond with a three-fold risk of developing breast cancer or a recurrence of breast cancer.

Proneurotensin is the subject of several ongoing US-based and European-based studies. The goal of further investigations is the discovery of appropriate interventions (e.g, a low-fat diet) in females at high risk.