Bioscience

Harnessing the immune system’s diagnostic power

June 8, 2010

By Flinn Foundation

[Source: GEN] – An inexpensive system for earlier disease diagnosis could save innumerable lives. It would also have a profound impact on the nation’s healthcare industry, currently buckling under the strain of spiraling costs.

Now Bart Legutki, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has pioneered a method for profiling the immune system, using clues provided by antibody activity to track an individual’s state of health. The work was done in collaboration with Stephen Albert Johnston, director of the Institute’s Center for Innovations in Medicine.

The new technique, known as immunosignaturing, could provide rapid, pre-symptomatic diagnosis for a broad range of ailments, from infectious diseases to chronic afflictions to varied forms of cancer, offering the best hope for successful treatment. Immunosignaturing also shows potential as a low-cost alternative for vaccine evaluation, currently a lengthy and expensive undertaking.

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