Translating Asthma: Dissecting the Role of Metabolomics, Genomics and Personalized Medicine.
Indian J Pediatr 2018 08;85(8):643-650. PubMed: 29185231
AbstractThe management of asthma has largely stagnated over the last 25 years, but we are at the dawning of a new age wherein -omics technology can help us manage the disease objectively and rationally. Even in this new scientific age, getting the basics of asthma management right remains essential. The new technologies which can be applied to multiple biological samples include genomics (study of the genome), transcriptomics (gene transcription), lipidomics, proteomics and metabolomics (lipids, proteins and metabolites, respectively) and breathomics, using exhaled breath as a source of biomarkers, which is of particular interest in view of its non-invasive nature in pediatrics. Important applications will include the diagnosis of airways disease, including its components; the pathways driving airway pathology; monitoring the response to treatment; and measuring future risk (asthma attacks, poor lung growth trajectory). With the advent of a wide range of novel biologicals to treat asthma, -omics technology to personalize therapy will be especially important. The U-BIOPRED (Europe) and SARP (USA) groups have been most active in this field, especially using bronchoscopically obtained samples to perform cluster analyses to define new asthma endotypes. However, stability over time and consistency between investigators is imperfect. This is perhaps unsurprising; results of biomarker studies in asthma will be a composite of the underlying disease, the (variable) effects of adverse drivers such as allergen exposure and pollution, the effects of treatment, and the effects of adherence or otherwise to treatment. Ultimately, the aim should be an exhaled breath based tool with a rapid result that can be used as a routine in the clinic. However, at the moment, there are as yet no clinical applications in children of -omics technology.
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