New Haven, Conn. – A Yale-led study has identified a gene expression profile that can predict outcomes and lead to better treatment for one of the most lethal lung diseases, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The study appears in Science Translational Medicine.
IPF causes progressive scarring of the lungs, leading to cough, shortness of breath, and potentially death. In most cases, the cause cannot be identified, and there is no cure other than a lung transplant. While some patients experience a progressive course that leads to death within one to two years, others experience a relative stable disease.
The researchers’ goal was to identify changes in expression of genes in the blood that are predictive of poor outcomes among patients with IPF.
Using two cohorts of patients, the researchers from Yale, University of Chicago, and University of Pittsburgh analyzed the expression of the genes in the whole genome of patients with IPF, and identified 52 genes that significantly correlated with outcome. They further found that the decreased expression of four genes — CD28, ICOS, LCK, and ITK — predicted shorter survival time in patients with IPF.
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