Integrated multi-‘omic’ studies could lead to precision treatment for asthma

Posted: 3 July 2019 | | No comments yet

Researchers say integrated multi-‘omic’ studies could accelerate the use of precision medicine for asthma patients.

Carefully designed, integrated multi-‘omic’ studies could accelerate the use of precision medicine for asthma patients, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

In a recently-published invited review article, Scott R Tyler, PhD, and Supinda Bunyavanich, MD, MPH report that numerous studies have shown the value of applying transcriptomics and other ‘omic’ approaches for defining asthma subtypes – but they also cite the need for more studies aimed at pulling together these disparate data streams for a more comprehensive view of the disease.

A lot has gone toward establishing clinical and molecular endotypes of asthma in order to better understand the disease and hone treatment recommendations for patients in each group.

“Endotypes are important for physicians and biomedical researchers because they organise the way we think about asthma, which manifests in many different ways across patient populations,” said Dr Bunyavanich, faculty allergist/immunologist and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “By strategically integrating clinical and molecular data, it should be possible to identify meaningful endotypes that both enhance our mechanistic understanding of asthma and guide our clinical care of asthma toward the best treatments for each subtype. This is important for optimising patient outcomes.”

The review covers several types of omic studies that have been applied to asthma already, including transcriptomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, proteomics and microbiome analysis. But, as the authors note, each approach captures only one dimension of the disease biology. More complex studies that integrate multiple layers of data have begun, but additional work is needed.

“We are in the early stages of these more sophisticated and comprehensive analyses of asthma, but the growth in available patient cohorts, data repositories, technology and analytical tools gives us confidence that this kind of approach is rapidly becoming more feasible,” added Dr Tyler, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bunyavanich Lab at Mount Sinai. “As this concept gains traction, it will be essential for researchers to ensure careful study design and implement rigorous methodology for the most reliable results for future use in precision medicine.”

The invited review article, ‘Leveraging -omics for asthma endotyping’ was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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