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Biomarkers for precision medicine in airways disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-32
Number of pages15
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

King's Authors


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a complex clinical entity. In contrast to previously limited diagnostic definitions, it is now apparent that COPD is a clinically and biologically heterogeneous disease process, overlapping with other airways diseases like chronic asthma. As such, symptomatic response to current standard treatment practices is variable. New clinical guidelines have been altered to reflect this, with the inclusion of symptoms and risk factors in diagnostic and management algorithms. However, as our understanding of COPD pathophysiology deepens, many novel physiological, cellular, proteomic, and genetic markers have been identified. Several have been observed to be independently predictive of distinct clinical disease patterns, which at present are not illustrated by conventional measurements of lung impairment. The potential use of these predictive biomarkers to stratify this diverse patient population could transform the care we offer. We should aim for precision medicine to optimize diagnosis and treatment choices and to monitor and improve clinical outcomes in this disease.

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