Is telomere length analysis accurate and reliable?

RepeatDx performs telomere length analysis using the Flow-FISH procedure from blood samples, resulting in an accurate and reproducible measurement performed to thorough clinical and quality control testing standards. All patient samples are analyzed and compared to reference samples from a large set of healthy individuals, representing all age ranges equally. The ability to analyse different cell subsets provides more information per sample than any other method, providing physicians with more detailed information and leading to the most precise measurement.

Is telomere testing medically meaningful?

Telomere disorders are caused by extremely short telomeres. When the telomere shortening process results in extremely short telomeres, cells can no longer divide effectively or may be subjected to genomic instability. An inherited mutation in the genes that produces the telomere maintenance enzyme complex called telomerase or regulate its access or activity disables the enzyme and causes shorter telomeres. RepeatDx’s Flow-FISH procedure has been shown to be a valuable screening test for inherited telomere biology disorders. Understanding the telomere aging process is vital to combating syndromes such as dyskeratosis congenita.

This interest is driven by several recent peer-reviewed scientific publications showing that telomere length analysis measured by Flow-FISH can be used to identify individuals with various forms of inherited telomerase deficiency and to distinguish carriers of mutations in telomerase genes and in genes encoding telomere binding proteins from individuals without such abnormalities.

Does telomere length analysis improve healthcare?

The two tests offered by RepeatDx are already applied to clinical diagnostics of telomere biology disorders and contribute to positive clinical outcomes.

Telomere length analysis has been the object of keen interest as providing personal biological aging information which to date has not been studied in case-controlled clinical studies that are necessary to define interpretation of the results. However, there are several papers linking short telomeres and telomere loss to chronic stress and possible predisposition or adverse contributory effect to various diseases including cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The value of leukocyte telomere length in a variety of clinical settings needs to be explored to define beneficial interventions. Areas of immediate interest are studies of telomere length in relation to disease predisposition and prognosis, adverse effects of genotoxic or cytotoxic medications and treatments.

What is required to measure the length of telomeres?

In addition to the standard personal information collected for medical testing such as patient name, age and sex, the test requires 5-10ml of blood. No special preparation or fasting is required. All sample preparation, shipping instructions and paperwork are included as part of the sample requisition documents found on our Order Test page. Additional clinical information is required if a medical consultation is requested with the test and working diagnosis information may be a helpful consideration for the laboratory process.

Does RepeatDx secure and confidentially collect patient information?

RepeatDx is a licensed clinical laboratory and follows all security and privacy requirements set by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) in the United States, as well as by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) in Canada. All patient information collected and results generated from the telomere testing process are kept secure and confidential. This information is solely used for the purpose of providing clinical telomere testing.

Who can order a Telomere Length Measurement test?

A medical doctor who would be knowledgeable in this area of medicine and receive and interpret the results as well as make recommendations or refer the individual to a specialist when appropriate.