Study aims to use precision medicine to aid pulmonary fibrosis treatment

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation is starting PRECISIONS, a study intended to transform the diagnosis and treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis through precision medicine.

The study is supported with a $22 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, with additional support coming from Three Lakes Partners, a philanthropic family organization. More than 200,000 Americans have the disease, and the most common form of it has no known cause.

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radiologist Matt Lungren, M.D., left, meets with graduate students, Jeremy Irvin and Pranav Rajpurkar to discuss the results of tests using the algorithm the students developed.

Technologies that include a patient registry and a biorepository enable scientists to isolate and analyze patients’ precise genetic and molecular differences and offer new hope, researchers from the organization say.

The biorepository has enrolled more than 2,000 patients with a diverse range of disorders, and registry samples provide baseline phenotypic data for the study. This data covers disease symptoms, demographics, social and longitudinal data that show changes over time.

Also See: Pulmonary Fibrosis organization creates registry for research

The scientists are working with patients who have three different types of variants of IPF. Consequently, the goal is to match patients with IPF, as well as patients with interstial lung disease (ILD) to access to personalized medicine in which the right medication is used for the right patient, says Fernando Martinez, MD, the overall principal investigator. More than 1,500 patients in the registry have provided consent to be contacted for future research.

Imre Noth, MD, co-principal investigator, says PRECISIONS “has the potential to really change the scientific landscape over how we view IPF and ILDS by providing molecular classifications, while determining if a pharmacogenetically driven treatment can change outcomes.”

“The patient registry will serve as an invaluable tool to facilitate more efficient enrollment into the trial and to further define the genetic risk factors influencing the development and potential progression of the disease,” adds Gregory Cosgrove, MD, chief medical officer. “It will hopefully allow for the identification of important biomarkers to assist in the diagnosis and care of patients with pulmonary fibrosis.”

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