Rosetta Genomics and Warnex Medical Laboratories have signed exclusive distribution agreement in Canada. The agreement gives Warnex the rights to marketing and distributing three new microRNA-based diagnostic tests created by Rosetta Genomics.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small molecules that can act as regulators of protein activity and protein levels within a cell. Many diseases, including asbestos cancers like mesothelioma, are caused by the abnormal activities of a variety of different proteins. Not all these proteins are yet known, but certain ones that are important to the progression of certain cancers are. Research into miRNAs that control them is necessary and ongoing — if the levels of these critical proteins can be controlled, we may be able to control or eliminate some types cancer.
Additionally, we can harness our knowledge of miRNAs to diagnose diseases better, since cells naturally create their own miRNAs to regulate proteins. In some cases, when a protein is malfunctioning, the miRNA that controls it is present in improper levels. Using new techniques like the ones developed by Rosetta Genomics, these levels are detectable, and can be used to determine whether or not cancer is present in a patient. For a cancer that is very difficult to diagnose – like malignant mesothelioma – these techniques can help treatment begin earlier, which may in turn allow for improved prognoses.
The first test, named miRview mets, can be used to identify primary tumor sites in patients with metastatic cancer, which can enable the proper treatment of the tumor and all metastases. The second, named miRview squamous, can help doctors differentiate between two types of lung-cancer cells, each requiring their own specific treatment. The third, named miRview meso can be used to diagnose mesothelioma. This last test uses highly specific biomarkers to differentiate mesothelioma cells from other types of cancer.
These tests are all minimally invasive, and enable doctors to make better-informed decisions about chemotherapy and other treatments.