Chicago, IL, May 1, 2017—
Dr. Josh Levitsky, Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology, Hepatology) and Surgery (Organ Transplantation) at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, will be providing an oral presentation at the American Transplant Congress (ATC) describing discovery of predictive signatures of acute rejection in liver transplant recipients. Titled “Blood and Biopsy Genomic Signatures of Acute Rejection in Liver Transplant Recipients”, Dr. Levitsky’s talk will be presented on Tuesday May 2, 2017, at 5:42 pm (Concurrent Session: Late Breaking E353C). He will report on a single-center discovery and internal validation study of gene expression profiles in the peripheral blood and biopsy tissue of liver transplant recipients (LTRs).
One hundred and eighty-one patients were studied, including 45 with normal function (TX), 45 with elevation in liver function tests (LFTs) with a biopsy showing acute rejection (AR), and another 45 patients with abnormal LFTs with no clinical or histological evidence of AR. Using Affymetrix gene expression arrays, the authors were able to show a significant number of differentially expressed genes in the peripheral blood between the 3 clinical phenotypes with high predictive accuracy (sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV), even when adjusted for prevalent incidence of each phenotype. Internal validation was performed using both standard bootstrapping and leave-one-out-cross-validation. These encouraging results suggest a robust predictive model for AR in LTRs. A prospective, multi-center serial validation study (CTOT-14) is now underway, fully enrolled, with all samples collected from an external cohort of 200 LTRs.
Commenting on this work, Dr. Levitsky said “We have discovered a significant number of genes in the peripheral blood that are differentially expressed between three clinical phenotypes; normal function (TX), elevated liver function tests with a biopsy showing acute rejection (AR), and elevated liver function tests with no clinical symptoms or histological evidence of AR. These encouraging results suggest a predictive model for AR in peripheral blood samples, which if further validated, may form the basis for a test that can be used to improve health management of liver transplant recipients and make possible personalized immunosuppression. Such validation studies are already in process.”
In addition to his role at Northwestern University, Dr. Levitsky is a clinical advisor to Transplant Genomics Inc. (TGI). TGI has an exclusive license to commercialize transplant diagnostic tests based on the groundbreaking work performed through the collaboration of scientists at Northwestern and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).
Dr. Stan Rose, CEO of Transplant Genomics commented “Dr. Levitsky’s discovery may lead to a new predictive tool that, in the future, can enable improved management of liver transplant patients. TGI is excited about the opportunity to expand our product portfolio from kidney to liver as we strive to bring innovative molecular tests to market that benefit the lives of organ transplant recipients.”
Dr. Levitsky’s work was partially supported through sponsored research funding provided to Northwestern by TGI.
About Transplant Genomics Inc.
Transplant Genomics Inc. (TGI) is a molecular diagnostics company committed to improving organ transplant outcomes, with an initial focus on kidney transplant recipients. Working with the transplant community, TGI is commercializing a suite of tests enabling diagnosis and prediction of transplant recipient immune status. Test results will support clinicians with information to optimize immunosuppressive therapy, enhance patient care and improve graft survival. Test services are offered through TGI’s CLIA lab in Pleasanton, CA. www.transplantgenomics.com
About Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, founded in 1859, attracts talented individuals to its faculty, staff, and student body through its cutting-edge research initiatives, superb clinical affiliates, global outlook and innovative curriculum. Located in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, Feinberg has built a national reputation for excellence through a strong history of collaborative, interdisciplinary medical education and research, and along with Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medical Group is part of the premier academic medical center known as Northwestern Medicine.