Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EPO drugs threaten testing regime/Drug tester calls for development of smarter EPO tests

30.01.2006


Hormone use and abuse in sport and development conference

Many of the performance-enhancing drugs used in sport are analogues of natural hormones found in the body. What do these hormones do? How do they affect athletes, and how can you detect them? How do they affect normal young adults? What happens to a young adult when the balance of hormones goes wrong? How does nutrition affect physical performance?

Some of the world’s top researchers will meet to discuss these topics just before the Turin Olympics. The Hormones, Nutrition and Physical Performance conference, will take place in Turin, from the 28-31 January 2006.



The Hormones, Nutrition and Physical Performance conference takes place in Torino from 28-31 Jan, immediately before the Winter Olympics. The conference has two main strands, how children develop into healthy young adults, and how hormones affect sport and performance (including drug abuse).

1 New EPO drugs threaten testing regime

EPO, the drug which scandalised the Tour de France, may be about to appear in new variants. EPO (erythropoietin) is used as a performance-enhancing drug in endurance sports. It controls the amount of oxygen in the body by regulating blood haemoglobin and red cell mass. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regards the test for EPO as ‘Valid and reliable’ (). Now, however, the possibility of new, longer-lasting EPOs will make the job of the drug testers even harder.

Professor Wolfgang Jelkmann (University of Lübeck) has warned delegates attending the Hormones, Nutrition and Physical Performance Conference in Turin about new, long-lasting EPO variant which will soon be available to patients - and the drug-cheats will be watching these developments closely.

At present, EPO has a half-life in the body of around 6-8 hours. Darbepoetin alfa, a genetically modified EPO analogue with a half-life of around 24 hours, became available a few years ago, and almost immediately reports of abuse appeared in the press. Now Professor Jelkmann warns of even more forms of EPO in development. Professor Jelkmann says:

‘At this moment there are new EPOs in development, which will present real challenges to those who want to clean up drug use in sport. Some of these drugs are long-lasting analogues, which could be great for patients, but it will also present alternatives to athletes who want to boost their stamina illegally. For example, we know of a new form of Epoetin beta (with a half-life of around 130 hours), being developed by a major pharmaceutical company. But these are just the drugs we know about, it’s almost inevitable that athletes will be experimenting with other EPOs, and we will be catching up. When athletes are presented with alternatives, testing becomes harder. We need to prepare for this’.

NOTE: EPO is an peptide hormone. It is used clinically to treat anaemia, or low red blood cell count, mainly in people with cancer, AIDS or kidney problems. Athletes inject the drug illegally, to help increase endurance. As it causes a thickening of the blood, it can lead to heart and circulation problems. EPO is normally broken down in the body rapidly, but its stimulating effect can last for up to two weeks after use.

Biography and background: Wolfgang Jelkmann is Professor of Physiology and the Dean of the Medical Faculty, at the University of Lübeck. He is a member of the advisory boards of the Federal Institute of Sport Science, and has edited three books on erythropoietin. Note Jelkmann article on EPO:

Contact: jelkmann@physio.uni-luebeck.de

2 Drug tester calls for development of smarter EPO tests.

Drugs testers will have to develop smarter tests to stay ahead of athletes illegally taking the illegal endurance-enhancing drug erythropoetin (EPO). That’s the verdict of Giovanni Melioli, of the Giannina Gaslini Paediatric Institute in Genoa.

Since the Sydney Olympics in 2000, drug testers have been using the WADA (Word Anti-Doping Agency) approved isoelectric focusing test. In that test, samples of the EPO polypeptide hormone are separated by an electric current, and then identified immunologically. The test was suspected of giving some false negatives, and WADA revised the protocol early in 2005.

Now Professor Melioli believes that testers need to extend the testing regime in controversial cases. Professor Melioli has been the expert witness in several high-profile doping cases in Italy in recent years. He now believes that testers need to begin to develop a combination of tests to specifically identify the EPO drug.

Speaking at the Hormones, Nutrition and Physical Performance conference in Turin, Professor Melioli said:

‘The current EPO test is a very good test, but we may need to begin to move towards combining the existing test with other very high specificity tests. For example, in HPLC/MS testing the urine sample is separated into individual components, and then each component can be accurately identified according the weight of the individual component. This is very specific indeed, and combining the high specificity of the isoelectric focusing test, with the high specificity of the HPLC/MS test, means that the chance of a false positive drops dramatically. There are some techniques which those designing the drugs can use to mask drug use. So far, we have not seen them in use, but it’s only a matter of time. We need to stay ahead of the drug designers’.

Please mention the Hormones, Nutrition and Physical Performance conference in any story.

e-mail: giovannimelioli@ospedale-gaslini.ge , telephone +39 010 5636557 (Laboratorio Generale di Analisi)

Tom Parkhill | alfa
Further information:
http://www.hormones.it

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

nachricht New type of blood cells work as indicators of autoimmunity
14.08.2017 | Instituto de Medicina Molecular

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>