Biomarkers to measure patient platelet functional status on aspirin and predict cardiovascular events
Aspirin is the most commonly prescribed anti-platelet medication for prevention of acute coronary syndrome (ACS), which continues to be the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. Aspirin has long been viewed as an important first line measure for heart attack prevention, yet aspirin treatment only reduces risk of ACS by 12-22% in total-patient populations. Patients using aspirin still experience ACS or cardiovascular related death at rates of 3-4% per year. Furthermore, the American College of Cardiology & American Heart Association has recently emphasized that low-dose aspirin intake should only be prescribed by a doctor in select cases while the primary preventative benefits of aspirin intake are not well understood for each patient. Despite the clear advantages of low-dose aspirin preventative treatments in many patients, there remains an important need to better understand, monitor, and predict the effect that antiplatelet preventative measures may have on patients at risk for ACS.
Duke inventors have patented the use of a novel RNA biomarkers that accurately define a patient’s platelet functional status. Unlike available assays for directly measuring platelet function, these biomarkers collected from whole-blood RNA samples enable any clinician to rapidly identify patients that are not appropriately responding to preventative aspirin treatment and thus are at increased risk for a cardiovascular event. Accordingly, the inventive biomarker panel can readily inform treatment regimens, monitor their effectiveness, and predict risk of a future heart attack. These advances are capable of reshaping ACS preventative measures and maximizing the potential of established antiplatelet therapies.
In addition to applications in the cardiovascular field, the panel of biomarkers may also be useful for monitoring thrombosis treatments.
- Platelet-function biomarker analysis is minimally invasive and enables clinicians to quickly identify patients that will respond to antiplatelet-based preventative measures
- Whole blood RNA samples are easily collected and preserved with no additional processing required
- RNA samples are readily stored and transported, making the predictive biomarker analysis widely available and accessible for the vast majority of patients at risk for ACS