Last updated on May 2019

Biomarker for Patients With Fabry Disease (BioFabry)


Brief description of study

Development of a new mass spectrography-based biomarker for the early and sensitive diagnosis of Fabry disease from the blood

Detailed Study Description

Fabry disease is a progressive, inherited, multisystemic lysosomal storage disease characterized by specific neurological, cutaneous, renal, cardiovascular, cochleo-vestibular and cerebrovascular manifestations.

Annual incidence is reported to be 1 in 80,000 live births but this figure may underestimate disease prevalence. When late-onset variants of the disease are considered, a prevalence of approximately 1 in 3,000 has been suggested. Fabry disease is pan-ethnic.

Fabry disease is a disorder of glycosphingolipid metabolism caused by deficient or absent lysosomal alpha-galactosidase A activity related to mutations in the GLA gene (Xq21.3-q22) encoding the alpha-galactosidase A enzyme. Deficient activity results in accumulation of globotriaosylceramide (Gb3) within lysosomes, believed to trigger a cascade of cellular events.

Fabry disease is transmitted as an X-linked trait. The existence of atypical, late-onset, variants and the availability of specific therapy complicate genetic counseling.

The clinical picture covers a wide spectrum ranging from mild cases in heterozygous females, to severe cases in classically affected hemizygous males with no residual alpha-galactosidase A activity. These patients may have all the characteristic neurological (pain), cutaneous (angiokeratoma), renal (proteinuria, kidney failure), cardiovascular (cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia), cochleo-vestibular (hearing loss and vertigo) and cerebrovascular (transient ischemic attacks, strokes) symptoms of the disease.

Female patients may have very mild to severe symptoms. Pain is a common early symptom of Fabry disease (chronic pain characterized by burning and tingling paresthesia and occasional episodic crises characterized by agonizing burning pain). Pain may resolve in adulthood.

Anhidrosis or hypohidrosis may occur causing heat and exercise intolerance. Other signs include corneal changes ("cornea verticilata"), Definitive laboratory diagnosis involves demonstration of marked enzyme deficiency in hemizygous males. Enzyme analysis may occasionally help to detect heterozygotes but is often inconclusive due to random X-chromosomal inactivation, making molecular testing (genotyping) of females mandatory.

With age, progressive damage to vital organ systems develops, possibly leading to organ failure. End-stage renal disease and life-threatening cardiovascular or cerebrovascular complications limit the life-expectancy .

New methods, like mass-spectrometry give a good chance to characterize specific metabolic alterations in the blood of affected patients that allow diagnosing in the future the disease earlier, with a higher sensitivity and specificity.

Therefore it is the goal of the study to identify and validate a new biochemical marker from the blood of the affected patients helping to benefit other patients by an early diagnose and thereby with an earlier treatment.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02778295

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Recruitment Status: Open


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