Endometriosis is an under-recognised and often misdiagnosed chronic disease that affects one in ten women. It occurs when cells similar to those that line a woman’s uterus grow in other parts of her body, usually around the pelvis. The current gold standard for diagnosis of endometriosis is direct visualisation of the tissue with confirmation by histological analysis which can only be achieved by laparoscopy/laparotomy under a general anaesthetic. It is estimated 176 million women and girls around the world are living with endometriosis. The condition costs $7.7 billion a year in direct medical expenses and lost productivity in Australia alone.
Proteomics International has utilised its PromarkerTM technology platform to search for unique biomarkers of Endometriosis. Initially, three pooled plasma samples from three distinct groups of patients were tested. The first group had symptoms of endometriosis and a surgical procedure performed to confirm this diagnosis. The second group also had symptoms but the surgical procedure did not confirm the diagnosis. The third group were healthy matched controls. The pooled plasma samples were quantitatively profiled against each other with a triplicate iTRAQ 2D-LCMS experiment and out of the 399 proteins identified (≥2 significant peptides), 30 showed significant levels of change when comparing the diseased state to the two other groups. These 30 potential biomarkers are being tested in separate groupings of individual patient plasma samples by targeted mass spectrometry to verify their potential as diagnostic biomarkers.