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Personalized medicine for patients with COPD: where are we?

Authors Franssen FME, Alter P, Bar N, Benedikter BJ, Iurato S, Maier D, Maxheim M, Roessler FK, Spruit MA, Vogelmeier CF, Wouters EFM, Schmeck B

Received 10 March 2019

Accepted for publication 5 June 2019

Published 9 July 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1465—1484


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Frits ME Franssen1,2, Peter Alter,3 Nadav Bar,4 Birke J Benedikter5,6, Stella Iurato,7 Dieter Maier,8 Michael Maxheim,3 Fabienne K Roessler,4 Martijn A Spruit,1–2,9 Claus F Vogelmeier,3 Emiel FM Wouters1,2, Bernd Schmeck3,5
On behalf of the SysMed-COPD consortium
1Department of Research and Education, CIRO, Horn, The Netherlands; 2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Centre, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht, The Netherlands; 3Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University Medical Center Giessen and Marburg, Philipps University of Marburg (UMR), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Marburg, Germany; 4Department of Chemical Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway; 5Institute for Lung Research, Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Centre, Philipps-University Marburg, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Marburg, Germany; 6Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC+), Maastricht, The Netherlands; 7Viscovery Software GmbH, Vienna, Austria; 8Biomax Informatics AG, Planegg, Germany; 9REVAL - Rehabilitation Research Center, BIOMED - Biomedical Research Institute, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium

Abstract: Chronic airflow limitation is the common denominator of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, it is not possible to predict morbidity and mortality of individual patients based on the degree of lung function impairment, nor does the degree of airflow limitation allow guidance regarding therapies. Over the last decades, understanding of the factors contributing to the heterogeneity of disease trajectories, clinical presentation, and response to existing therapies has greatly advanced. Indeed, diagnostic assessment and treatment algorithms for COPD have become more personalized. In addition to the pulmonary abnormalities and inhaler therapies, extra-pulmonary features and comorbidities have been studied and are considered essential components of comprehensive disease management, including lifestyle interventions. Despite these advances, predicting and/or modifying the course of the disease remains currently impossible, and selection of patients with a beneficial response to specific interventions is unsatisfactory. Consequently, non-response to pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments is common, and many patients have refractory symptoms. Thus, there is an ongoing urgency for a more targeted and holistic management of the disease, incorporating the basic principles of P4 medicine (predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory). This review describes the current status and unmet needs regarding personalized medicine for patients with COPD. Also, it proposes a systems medicine approach, integrating genetic, environmental, (micro)biological, and clinical factors in experimental and computational models in order to decipher the multilevel complexity of COPD. Ultimately, the acquired insights will enable the development of clinical decision support systems and advance personalized medicine for patients with COPD.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, personalized medicine, systems medicine, review

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