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What Are the Benefits to Using Disease State Samples?

Mar 19, 2018 10:18:00 AM / by Stacy Matthews Branch, DVM, PhD

Disease state samples can help achieve scientific advances Disease state specimens boost the ability to achieve scientific advances and characterize the cellular and molecular features of a disease and its progression.

Progress in personalized medicine continues as more methods are developed to enhance diagnostic and prognostic efforts. Molecular technologies allow the identification of factors that can be used for early disease diagnosis, prediction of disease susceptibility, monitor disease development, determine treatment effectiveness, and to determine a patient’s disease prognosis. The availability of disease state specimens has bolstered the ability to achieve these advances and to characterize the cellular and molecular features of a disease and its progression.

Versatility in the use of disease state serum has been important for advancing medical research and translation for the clinical setting. A major part of this involves the use of molecular approaches to identify biomarkers of disease for use by clinical reference laboratories in diagnostic efforts. Biomarker detection also has a significant role in medical research and has helped to determine the factors responsible for disease development and progression.

Using serum from patients in the active stage of pemphigus, a skin autoimmune disease, scientists were able to study the immune cell and cytokine profiles associated with the development and progression of pemphigus. They observed increased serum levels of interleukins (IL-6, IL-9, and IL-10), and that the T helper cell predominant response is related to an active stage of paraneoplastic pemphigus. Other advances using disease state serum include the measurement and detection of circulating cell-free tumor DNA (ctDNA) in the blood. ctDNA is DNA released from tumor cells, and its analysis represents a noninvasive method to study and profile the genetic characteristics of a specific cancer type.

Early detection is paramount in treatment efforts that can prolong life in people with hepatocellular carcinoma (a leading cause of cancer-related death). Identifying biomarkers for early detection would support HCC disease management. Studies in sera from patients with active HCC and from those who recovered led to the identification of biomarkers (alpha-fetoprotein and fibronectin) that can be used for detection with a routine blood test. Using disease state serum in medical research supports biomarker discovery, leading to information and tools that can aid early diagnosis, determination of the best treatment strategies, and support the monitoring of treatment responses to disease.

HemaCare provides a large variety of cryopreserved PBMCs, plasma, and serum from various disease states to support your research needs. View our current inventory of “ready to ship” disease state cells and components.


Narbutt, J., Lukamowicz, J., Bogaczewicz, J., Sysa-Jedrzejowska, A., Torzecka, J., & Lesiak, A. (2008). Serum Concentration of Interleukin-6 Is Increased Both in Active and Remission Stages of Pemphigus Vulgaris. Mediators Of Inflammation, 2008, 1-5. doi:10.1155/2008/875394

Topics: Basic Research

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