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Sanford Childrens Physician Provides New Scoliosis Test

ScoliScore™ Could Help Identify Young Girls at Risk for Severe Scoliosis

Geoffrey Haft, MD(Sioux Falls, SD) — A new test currently being offered at Sanford Children’s could help identify young girls at risk for developing severe scoliosis. Scoliosis treatment can bring great challenges. In many cases, adolescent girls with small curves are treated with braces, sometimes for many years. The braces are expensive, uncomfortable and are frequently psychologically challenging at a time when teenagers are acutely aware of their appearance.

In the past, physicians frequently recommended bracing for all patients with scoliosis, even though only a few had curves that would ultimately get larger. Previously, doctors could not identify which patients were at the highest risk for developing severe scoliosis.

ScoliScore™ AIS Prognostic Test from Axial Biotech, Inc.
Today, there is an alternative, the ScoliScore™ AIS Prognostic Test, a predictive test that provides increased peace of mind for patients, their families and clinical care providers. ScoliScore™ is a saliva-based DNA test that predicts progression to a severe curve by skeletal maturity. Equally important, the test will identify those patients whose curves will remain small.

Geoffrey Haft, MD, a scoliosis expert with Sanford Clinic Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, has been selected to host a field test site, one of approximately 42 sites around the country involved in the product launch. The test will not become available to the orthopedic community at large until September 2009.

“I see so many scoliosis patients where we have to assume that their curve will get worse with time. I’m thrilled with the opportunity to predict my patient’s course with a simple, non-invasive test,” said Geoffrey Haft, MD, Sanford Clinic Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.

Currently, the ScoliScore™ AIS Prognostic Test is intended for female patients between the ages of nine and 13 years old, with a primary diagnosis of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) who have a mild scoliotic curve (10 degree - 25 degree Cobb Angle).

“The DNA-based test will help physicians make more accurate assessments and recommendations to their patients,” said Dr. Haft. “The test is also paving the way for individualized scoliosis treatment by providing patient-specific information that is used to help health care providers optimize treatment plans.” For more information, visit www.sanfordhealth.org.


Contact:
Stacy Bauer Jones | Media Relations Coordinator
(605) 328-7056 | jonesst@sanfordhealth.org