Detecting osteoarthritis early via proteins in the blood

September 29, 2015 | Guomin Ren
Trainee: Guomin Ren, University of Calgary, AB
Supervisor: Dr. Roman Krawetz, University of Calgary, AB
Research Program: Graduate PhD Award
Fund Term: 2015-2018
Fund Amount: $31,500

Osteoarthritis (OA), marked by slow cartilage destruction, is typically diagnosed only once the disease is advanced – because that is when signs and symptoms begin to present. This study will attempt to uncover new diagnostic methods to detect OA much earlier – so that treatments could be delivered before the disease progresses too far. 

We will study a total of 360 people, with 100 controls, 100 with OA, and 160 high-risk individuals who have knee injury, hip dysplasia or hip impingement. Through yearly blood tests, we will measure the expression of key proteins, developing proteomic profiles of each patient. These proteomic profiles will be compared to clinical data to help reveal differences among controls, OA, and high-risk OA groups. 

New diagnostic tests may be found by first identifying any significantly different proteins being expressed between the groups. An early diagnosis of OA can change the fortunes of people who live with the disease.