New COPD blood test in development

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 54, No. 5, June 2012, Page 252 News

Exacerbations of COPD are currently the leading cause of emergency room visits and hospitalizations among chro­nic disease sufferers in BC, and account for over $5.7 billion in direct health care costs every year in Canada.

With funding from Genome BC, the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF) Centre of Excellence at UBC is working to develop a simple blood test, which could be done at any clinical laboratory in BC, to determine if a person is at risk for an exacerbation and allow appropriate preventative measures to be taken. The current diagnosis method is a breathing test available only in certain centres in the province, and must be performed by specially trained personnel.

Previous funding from Genome BC enabled the PROOF Centre team to establish the infrastructure and tools to quickly validate blood-based laboratory tests called bio-signatures. This expertise will now be directed at solving the enormous burden of COPD on the health care system and allow physicians to better treat and manage COPD. Information garnered from the analysis of a patient’s blood may also hasten the development of future drug therapies to treat the disease.

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. New COPD blood test in development. BCMJ, Vol. 54, No. 5, June, 2012, Page(s) 252 - News.

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