CHEST 2008: If the Gene Fits...
Some respiratory professionals out there may not have brushed on their knowledge of DNA and gene sequencing since their undergrad or med school days. If that's the case, you might to have a quick refresher because of the landmark COPDGene Study launched earlier this year turns out positively, genetics could play an integral part in respiratory care.
Lead investigators James Crapo, MD, and Ed Silverman, MD, hope to define clinical phenotypes of COPD by mapping the genes of more than 10,000 COPD patients, comprised of two-thirds non-hispanic whites and one-third African-Americans. The first of the study's 17 clinical sites began recruiting in March and already have accepted 1,500 patients, well ahead of the projected goals. At this rate, Dr. Crapo said it's possible that they could finish recruitment in just a little more than two years.
In addition to perhaps changing the way clinicians view and treat COPD, one of the study's main aims is to provide an extensive national database that the medical community could access to use for analysis or ancillary studies. If the gene fits, the study may enable clinicians to reduce the large enigma that is COPD into smaller, more manageable subsets that would essentially create a new vocabulary in COPD care.