Anti-CCP2 Test: A New Kit with More Accuracy

What It Is. This test, available since October 2011, is the second generation, or second incarnation, of the first anti-CCP test, which has been around since the late 1990s, says John Griffiths, founder and CEO of Gold Standard Diagnostics, the manufacturer of the test. Antibodies of cyclic citrullinated peptides (CCP), or proteins, are often present in the early stages of RA, even before clinical signs of RA appear. The second generation test was developed by screening CCPs from the blood of RA patients, selecting from those only the CCPs that best detected RA so that it’s a more sensitive and specific test than the first generation test.

Why It’s Different. “It uses basically the same testing method as the first anti-CCP test,” says Griffiths. But the new kit has a higher percentage of sensitivity than the older version because it has more narrowly selected the CCPs that are most sensitive and specific to RA.

What It Means for Personalized Medicine. Although the test doesn’t have much impact on personalized medicine, it is an additional tool in the diagnosis and management of patients with RA.

Anti-MCV (Mutated Citrullinated Vimentin): A Simple Blood Test Looking for Antibodies Common in Early RA

What It Is. This simple blood test checks for antibodies to mutated citrullinated vimentin, or MCV. MCV is a protein “that drives RA,” says Martin Fleck, MD, a researcher and teacher at the University of Regensburg, Germany, and chief physician of the clinic for rheumatology and clinical immunology for the Asklepios Clinic in Bad Abbach, who has been involved in the research of anti-MCV.

Why It’s Different. “MCV antibodies are highly specific and may be detectable several years before the RA [is clinically obvious],” says Dr. Fleck. “You won’t find these antibodies in healthy people.” He notes that the MCV test is a better predictor of aggressive disease or erosions than the anti-CCP test. “But if the test is negative, RA is not excluded,” he says. It’s negative in approximately 20 to 30 percent of RA patients.

Because the CCP test and MCV test measure different antibodies, both tests are given along with a test for rheumatoid factor.

One version of the MCV test, Rheuma Check, is simple, requiring no lab equipment. A few drops of blood are placed on a test strip, revealing the presence of the MCV antibodies within 15 minutes. A more accurate version of the test that determines the exact concentration of MCV antibodies takes two hours to process. “The result is usually available the next day,” says Dr. Fleck.

What It Means for Personalized Medicine. “The MCV test extends the repertoire of biomarkers for RA,” says Dr. Fleck. “And the Rheuma Check helps identify immediately RA patients among patients presenting with [other forms of] arthritis.”