Methods and Compositions to Quantitate Thyroglobulin in Human Blood Specimens

Introduction Thyroglobulin is a marker of thyroid cancer. The presence of thyroglobulin in the plasma/serum of patients indicates functioning thyroid tissue. Following surgery and treatment with radioactive iodine, patients with thyroid cancer should be free of all functioning thyroid tissue. Detectable thyroid tissue in these patients indicates the need for further therapy. However, current methods of detection and quantitation of thyroglobulin using immunoassays are complicated by several limitations, including, but not limited to, the presence of patients’ autoantibodies to thyroglobulin, patients’antibodies to reagent immunoglobulins. Furthermore, given different immunoassay-antibodies are used by different companies, there is suboptimal standardization of thyroglobulin immunoassays. Therefore, a need exists for improved methods and compositions for the detection of thyroglobulin in order to more accurately detect residual, recurrent, or metastatic disease in patients afflicted with thyroid cancer. Technology description Dr Hoofnagle’s laboratory has developed new methods and compositions for detecting and quantifying thyroglobulin in a biological sample that overcome limitations of the current methods of detection and quantitation. Business Opportunity The most common types of thyroid cancers (papillary and follicular thyroid cancers) that arise from the follicle cells frequently produce thyroglobulin, resulting in increased levels of thyroglobulin in the blood. A thyroglobulin test may be ordered prior to the surgical removal of the thyroid gland for cancer, after the completion of treatment, to help determine whether any thyroid tissue may have been left behind, and on a regular basis after surgery to make sure that the tumor has not come back or spread. In the U.S., physicians order more than 150,000 thyroglobulin tests each year for thyroid cancer patients. Intellectual Property Position The University of Washington has applied for patent protection to secure the rights to this technology.

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