US-based health tech company, DotLab has developed the world’s first non-invasive test for endometriosis.

Approximately one in 10 women worldwide are affected by endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Despite painful symptoms that include pelvic pain, cramping, abnormal menstruation and infertility, many women remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and often miss days of school and work. Those who do eventually receive a diagnosis commonly experience a decade-long delay and have to see a number of doctors in the process. 

Until now, laparoscopic surgery has remained the gold standard in diagnosis, but DotLab’s first non-invasive product, DotEndo, aims to change that.

In an interview with Gather for Women, DotLab’s CEO and Founder, Heather Bowerman, explained how their test uses novel disease-specific biomarkers and machine learning to diagnose endometriosis.

“Our test detects the quantity of endometriosis-specific biomarkers called microRNAs, which are small non-coding RNAs that function in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression,” said Bowerman in the interview.

“DotLab’s microRNA biomarkers were identified from a screen of thousands of different human microRNA sequences using a comprehensive microarray. From these thousands of microRNA candidates, we identified the subset that showed the greatest magnitude of up- or down-regulation in women with endometriosis. DotEndo is based on a combination of these endometriosis-associated microRNAs, which we have shown in clinical studies to be both highly sensitive and highly specific when compared to laparoscopy,” continued Bowerman.

According to DotLab, patients can order the DotEndo test through their physician. The test also includes an FDA-cleared saliva collection device.

“With our simple physician-ordered test, women can get the information they need at the disease’s earliest stages, at the time of their first physician visit,” said Bowerman.

“Earlier detection can mitigate reproductive and other complications arising from untreated or advanced endometriosis, and research has even shown that treating endometriosis can reduce the risk of ovarian cancer,” concluded Bowerman.

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