Medical Technology SA - Volume 20, Issue 2, 2006
Volume 20, Issue 2, 2006
Soluble transferrin receptors and soluble transferrin receptor - ferritin index in a healthy African population of South AfricaSource: Medical Technology SA 20, pp 5 –8 (2006)More Less
Background: South Africa has a high incidence of iron deficiency and HIV / Aids. The soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) is not an acute phase reactant as is ferritin, hence it is useful for the diagnosis of iron deficiency in the presence of inflammation or infection.
Methods: To explore the use of sTfR and sTfR - log ferritin index in evaluating body iron status, we measured soluble transferrin receptors and indirect measures of iron stores in 371 healthy Africans.
Results: We observed an inverse correlation between sTfR and log serum ferritin (r = - 0.17, P < 0.0001), as well as sTfR - log ferritin index and transferrin saturation (r = - 0.26, P < 0.0001). Subjects classified as having iron deficiency (serum ferritin < 30µg/L and transferrin saturation < 15%) had significantly higher sTfR concentrations when compared to subjects with normal serum ferritin and transferrin saturation 15 - 50%, (9.2 ± 6.9µg/ml and 5.0 ± 2.4µg/ml, P < 0.0001) respectively. The concentrations of sTfR were normal to increased (5.5 ± 3.2 µg/ml) in subjects who may be classified as iron deficient based on serum ferritin levels (serum ferritin levels less than 30 µg/L, but transferrin saturation 15 - 50%). However, the sTfR - log ferritin index was superior over sTfR values in differentiating between this group and subjects classified as normal, respectively, 4.6 ± 4.1 and 2.6 ± 1.2, P < 0.0001. No significant differences were observed between the iron overload group (serum ferritin raised) and normal subjects.
Conclusion: Based on these results we suggest that sTfR - log ferritin index be used together with other parameters of iron stores in the diagnosis of iron deficiency, particularly when sTfR concentration results are equivocal.
Reactive oxygen species measurement in human spermatozoa by flow cytometry using the fluorescent probe, 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate (DCFH-DA)Source: Medical Technology SA 20, pp 9 –10 (2006)More Less
Semen analysis constitutes the first biological step in the evaluation of male factor infertility (MFI) in an infertile couple. It is known that human spermatozoa generate reactive oxygen species in physiologic amounts, which play a role in sperm functions during sperm capacitation, acrosome reaction, and oocyte fusion. However, uncontrolled and excessive production of ROS, when it overwhelms the limited antioxidant defenses in semen, results in seminal oxidative stress. Recently, a substantial body of growing evidence suggests that such seminal oxidative stress is involved in many cases of idiopathic MFI. We have demonstrated that intracellular reactive oxygen species can be detected and measured in human spermatozoa by flow cytometry using the fluorescent probe 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein- diacetate (DCFH-DA). This method will help in assessing oxidative stress during basic semen analyses in assisted reproductive technology.
Source: Medical Technology SA 20, pp 11 –19 (2006)More Less
At present, the most useful clinical biomarkers for breast cancer are the oestrogen / progesterone receptors and HER-2. The discovery of cancer biomarkers is currently a major focus of cancer research. Consequently, a large number of potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for breast cancer are now known, although no single marker has so far proven useful as an independent method for breast cancer screening or diagnosis. This can be ascribed to the fact that many of these biomarkers have not yet been assessed in a reliable and reproducible way in order to determine their importance and usefulness in clinical patient management. Discovering biomarkers is a slow process, and numerous obstacles must be overcome in translating them from the research laboratory into clinical use. This paper gives an overview of the application of biomarkers in breast cancer management, the process of biomarker discovery and development and the future prospects regarding biomarker application in breast cancer management.