Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common, debilitating lung disorders that affect more than 600 million people worldwide. But there is no way to diagnose those diseases early so that interventions can prevent serious lung damage from occurring.
Using molecular biology techniques, Simon Spivack, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues have found that small/microRNA molecules contained in exhaled exosomes (membrane-bound extracellular vesicles released from cells) can potentially serve as biomarkers for both diseases. Dr. Spivack has received a two-year, $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to perfect a non-invasive strategy to detect these biomarkers in exhaled breath condensates (exhaled breath condensed via cooling in a collection device). The next step will be a multi-institute study to evaluate the reliability of exhaled biomarkers for detecting asthma and COPD early and for monitoring treatment success.
Dr. Spivack is professor of medicine, of epidemiology & population health, and of genetics at Einstein. (1 R33 HL156279-01)
Posted on: Monday, March 22, 2021