Dr. Fernando Martinez, Chief, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, has been appointed to serve as co-Principal Investigator on a newly launched study – PRECISIONS – that aims to transform diagnosis and treatment for IPF. Funded by a $22 million grant from the National Institutes of Health and Three Lakes Partners, the PRECISIONS study will define genetic and molecular signatures to distinguish IPF from non-IPF interstitial lung diseases.
IPF has no known cause and is the most common form of pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and deadly lung disease. By distinguishing molecular signatures for both IPF and non-IPF interstitial lung diseases, the PRECISIONS study will be taking diagnosis and treatment for lung disease to a new state-of-the-art level in personalized medicine. This effort will be aided by the PFF (Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation) Patient Registry and Biorepository, which has enrolled 2,000 patients who have pulmonary fibrosis disorders and are located at 42 Care Center Network sites nationwide; more than 1,500 of these patients have consented to be contacted for future research.
In addition to distinguishing between IPF and non-IPF, Dr. Martinez, along with co-Principal Investigator, Dr. Imre Noth, Chief, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, UVA Health, will seek to determine whether NAC (N-Acetyl-cysteine) is an effective treatment for a subset of patients with IPF (who have a particular gene variant) and to identify genetic variants that play a role in overall risk for IPF.
Says Dr. Martinez, “This innovative study highlights the value of a partnership between a broad range of investigators, the PFF, a philanthropic organization (Three Lakes Partners), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Most importantly, it seeks to provide patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) access to personalized medicine in which the right medication is used for the right patient.”