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Assays & screens

Assessing circulating donor cell-free DNA levels to predict heart transplant rejection

The ratio of circulating donor cell-free DNA to total cell-free DNA could be used to predict heart transplant rejection. Circulating cell-free DNA was sequenced from multiple plasma samples from 65 patients taken before transplantation and at various time points after transplantation. In samples collected at least two weeks after transplant, high ratios of circulating donor to overall circulating cell-free DNA levels correlated with increased risk of transplant rejection. In the patient samples, elevated donor cell-free DNA levels were detected up to five months before transplant rejection. Next steps could include validating the screening method in additional patients.
CareDx Inc. offers the AlloMap molecular expression test to monitor heart transplant recipients for a rejection response. The company is developing a cell-free DNA test to predict rejection in heart transplant recipients.

SciBX 7(28); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.839
Published online July 24, 2014

Patented; exclusively licensed to CareDx

De Vlaminck, I. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online June 18, 2014;
Contact: Kiran K. Khush, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.
Contact: Stephen R. Quake, same affiliation as above