Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Blood proteins predict survival in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Pitt-led team says

A panel of blood proteins can predict which patients with the progressive lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are likely to live at least five years or to die within two years, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Centocor R&D.

The findings, published online last week in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, could help doctors determine those patients in imminent need of a lung transplant and those who can wait a while longer.

Fifty percent of IPF patients die within three years of diagnosis, but others will do well for long periods of time, explained investigator Naftali Kaminski, M.D., professor of medicine, pathology, human genetics and computational biology, Pitt School of Medicine, and director, The Dorothy P. & Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at UPMC. In the disease, breathing becomes increasingly impaired as the lungs progressively scar.

"It's hard to tell based on symptoms alone which patients are in the greatest danger," Dr. Kaminski said. "This biomarker panel has predictive power that can guide our treatment plan. It may also help us design more effective research trials because we'll be able to better match experimental therapies with the most appropriate patients."

The research team collected blood samples from 241 IPF patients. They measured the levels of 92 candidate proteins in 140 patients and found that higher concentrations of five particular proteins that are produced by the breakdown of lung tissue predicted poor survival, transplant-free survival and progression-free survival regardless of age, sex and baseline pulmonary function. They then confirmed the results in a second group of 101 patients.

Based on both groups, the investigators developed the personal clinical and molecular mortality prediction index (PCMI) that incorporates the gender, lung functions and levels of one of the proteins, called MMP7, in the blood. Patients with a low PCMI were more likely to live more than 5 years while the median survival for patients with high PCMI scores was 1.5 years.

"This indicates that these blood biomarker levels are not just a reflection of current severity of the lung disease, but they are predictive of impending death," said lead author Thomas Richards, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine and head of the Simmons Center biostatistics team.

"They have the potential to greatly improve our treatment strategies for IPF, in part by showing us which patients have the most urgent need for lung transplant, which is currently the only cure for the disease," added senior author Kevin Gibson, M.D., medical director of the Simmons Center.

"These findings provide proof of the concept of personalized medicine. " noted Mark T. Gladwin, M.D., chief, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "We can use a combination of biological and clinical markers to determine the very best care for each patient.

Drs. Kaminski, Gibson and colleagues have research projects underway to better understand how the biomarkers change over time.

The team includes Kathleen O. Lindell, Ph.D., R.N., and others at the Simmons Center and Pitt School of Medicine, as well as researchers from Centocor R & D in Radnor, Pa.

Study results will be presented by Dr. Kaminski at the IPF session of the Pittsburgh International Lung Conference on Personalized Medicine of Lung Disease at 2:30 p.m. on October 28 and 29 at the Holiday Inn Pittsburgh University Center.

The project was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centocor, and the Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Endowed Chair for Pulmonary Research.

About the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

As one of the nation's leading academic centers for biomedical research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine integrates advanced technology with basic science across a broad range of disciplines in a continuous quest to harness the power of new knowledge and improve the human condition. Driven mainly by the School of Medicine and its affiliates, Pitt has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1997.

Likewise, the School of Medicine is equally committed to advancing the quality and strength of its medical and graduate education programs, for which it is recognized as an innovative leader, and to training highly skilled, compassionate clinicians and creative scientists well-equipped to engage in world-class research. The School of Medicine is the academic partner of UPMC, which has collaborated with the University to raise the standard of medical excellence in Pittsburgh and to position health care as a driving force behind the region's economy. For more information about the School of Medicine, see

Anita Srikameswaran | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'
16.03.2018 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht Scientists map the portal to the cell's nucleus
16.03.2018 | Rockefeller University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>