Clinical Trial Aims to Tailor Treatment for Severe Asthma
May 29, 2019
When it comes to asthma, all cases are not created equal. Some cases are more severe; others are less so. Some are driven by allergies, while others are not.
At UH, a team is engaged in research aimed at developing better, less invasive ways of identifying these different asthma sub-types – ultimately with the goal of providing more personalized, targeted therapies for patients.
“We're trying to look beyond the standard way of determining whether someone has severe or non-severe asthma," says principal investigator Kristie R. Ross, MD, Division Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.
“We're trying to develop alternatives to bronchoscopy to characterize asthma," she says. "Our study involves bronchoscopy, but also a couple of other non-invasive tests to see if we can get the same information."
One of 30 Trial Sites Nationwide
In the fall, UH will begin enrolling patients with severe asthma into the PrecISE study, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). UH is one of just 30 centers nationwide participating.
PrecISE will enroll 800 adults and adolescents (age 12 or older) nationwide with severe asthma who have symptoms that are not well-controlled or who have frequent asthma attacks.
“There are a number of different medications that we will be testing that have never been used in asthma previously," Dr. Ross says. “We hypothesize that each of them will be effective in a certain population of people with asthma.
“Many people are able to achieve good asthma control with standard medication, so this study is not for people like that," she says. “This study is for people with severe asthma who continue to have flare-ups or a lot of daily symptoms or low lung function despite using the standard approaches to care."
“Right now, the treatment does not vary very much for the different sub-types of asthma," she says. “We don't know for sure which medications work best in which types of asthma. The whole purpose of the PrecISE study is to use precision medicine in asthma, which is not widely available right now."
For more information on the clinical research in asthma under way at UH, email Laurie Logan, coordinator of clinical trials research in Pediatric Pulmonology.