Diagnostic Assays for the Detection of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer represents a disease particularly amenable to improved methods of diagnosis. Current methods of diagnosis determining the malignancy of thyroid nodules involve needle biopsies and microscopic inspections which are subjective, often leading to inconclusive results and the need for surgery. Therefore, there is a need for improved methods of diagnostic accuracy.

NIH scientists have developed two ELISA assays for distinguishing malignant versus benign thyroid biopsy samples. The ELISA assays quantify the amount of midkine and pleiotrophin present in thyroid tissue samples collected from fine needle aspirates. Midkine and pleiotrophin are both low molecular weight growth factors that are over-expressed in many cancerous tissues. Application of this technique for the identification of thyroid cancer represents a first-in-class diagnostic for this disease.

Potential Commercial Applications: Competitive Advantages:
  • A diagnostic kit for the detection of thyroid cancer.

• High assay sensitivity permits the use of small tissue samples (e.g., fine needle aspirates of nodules)

• Assay can incorporate commercially-available midkine or pleiotrophin antibodies.

• Assay relies on proven ELISA detection technology.

Development Stage:
Pre-clinical (in vivo)


Jeffrey Baron (NICHD)  ➽ more inventions...

Youn Jee ()  ➽ more inventions...

Intellectual Property:
US Pat: 9664682 issued -
US Pat: 9658233
US Application No. 15/435,880

Collaboration Opportunity:

Licensing only

Licensing Contact:
John Hewes, Ph.D.
Email: John.Hewes@nih.gov
Phone: 240-276-5515

OTT Reference No: E-016-2013
Updated: Oct 6, 2017