VolitionRx has completed the first step in a study to come up with a blood test to diagnose endometriosis. More than 350 blood samples have been collected from patients over a period of more than three years. A blood test would offer the opportunity for an early diagnosis of the disease, leading to better outcomes. Endometriosis is currently diagnosed surgically using laparoscopy and can take eight to 10 years to be identified after symptoms first appear. The disease affects up to 10% of women of reproductive age and is a leading cause of infertility as well as extremely painful. A reliable, noninvasive diagnostic test would meet an important need. "Endometriosis is a potentially debilitating inflammatory condition in which the endometrial tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside the uterus, typically damaging the ovaries, fallopian tubes or other tissues of the pelvic cavity," Jake Micallef, PhD, chief scientific officer of VolitionRx, said in a press release. "Volition owns patents in the detection of endometriosis using nucleosome assays and we look forward to investigating the use of Nu.Q technology in this large patient cohort," Micallef said. The company is testing its Nu.Q technology to detect the abnormal circulation of nucleosomes in the blood. A nucleosome is a section of DNA wrapped around a core of proteins. Using a simple test, with a small amount of blood, nucleosomes can be measured and analyzed. The study aims to establish a correlation between the nucleosomes detected in a patient's blood and the presence of endometriosis, in order to evaluate the test’s diagnostic potential. VolitionRx expects to report preliminary data in the coming months. The collection of samples was overseen by professors Christian Becker and Krina Zondervan of the Nuffield Department of Women's and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford in England. They are also co-directors of the Oxford Endometriosis Care and Research Centre, which combines clinical care with collaborative research into endometriosis. "We are looking forward to the results of this study, which very much complements our ongoing efforts at the Oxford Endometriosis CaRe Centre of identifying noninvasive biomarkers for endometriosis which we believe will be an essential step toward improved patient diagnosis and care," Becker said. VolitionRx is a life sciences company dedicated to developing simple, cost-effective blood tests to help diagnose cancers and other conditions, including endometriosis.