Personalised care in pleural disease

Identifying new biomarkers to improve care in pleural disease.

Theme Respiratory disease

Biomarkers are found in blood, other body fluids or tissues. They can be a sign of existing disease or a warning that somebody will develop a disease in the future. This workstream uses innovative laboratory methods to identify new biomarkers. Identifying new biomarkers could help us improve how we diagnose pleural disease, a disease which affects the tissue on the outside of the lung and the inside of the chest.

We are exploring how useful some biomarkers are in guiding the type of treatment needed for various pleural conditions. For example, we are developing software to help doctors identify and manage build ups of fluid around a patient’s lungs (pleural effusions). We hope this will reduce the length of hospital stays for people with the condition.

We are expanding our collection of biological sample types and data fields. We are doing this by building on our existing database of biological samples, collected from more than 1,500 patients with pleural effusions. The database is linked to clinical data which we will use to identify and validate biomarkers. This will help us diagnose and predict outcomes for many pleural conditions.

We will do this by analysing metabolites (small molecules in cells, tissues and organisms) and DNA methylation (a chemical reaction in the body). We will also explore how useful a biomarker called suPAR is in guiding how patients with pleural infections and malignancies (tumours) are treated. This will improve our understanding of different pleural diseases.

Our researchers are also working with patients and the Translational data science theme to understand more about how pleural disease develops and how it affects different people.