"Cancer. Cardiovascular disease. Autoimmune disease. Neurological disease. Rheumatoid arthritis.
What do these diseases have in common? -Chronic inflammation.
In recognition of this, the NIH organised a focus session on the current clinical needs around inflammation in 2019, stating “Tools to locate and monitor inflammation are critical for developing effective interventions to arrest inflammation and promote its resolution. Clinical speakers described their needs for image‐based capabilities ... to guide treatment planning and undertake necessary interventions…All speakers agreed that multiple inflammatory measures should be acquired longitudinally to comprehend the dynamics of unresolved inflammation that leads to disease development.”
As an example, atherosclerosis- the #1 killer in developed countries- is now known to be a chronic inflammatory disease . Mounting clinical evidence suggests that effective treatment requires a reduction in both LDL levels (cholesterol) and underlying inflammation. However, a simple reduction in inflammation, measured by serum markers, has not proven successful in the clinic . Thus, as also found by the NIH workshop, treatment plans must take into account the inflammation status in the vessel walls in a longitudinal manner, which cannot be measured by blood tests.
This is no small task, as chronic inflammation is often asymptomatic until disease has developed. Pubmed has over 36,000 review articles on chronic inflammation. The ultimate goal is to have clinical noninvasive biomarkers of inflammation that can help in diagnosis, predict outcome and assess response to therapy or preventative strategy.
Overall, there is an unmet need to noninvasively diagnose inflammation, that can be used in conjunction with conventional biofluid and biopsy markers. This is particularly the case when treatment includes longterm preventative lifestyle changes. Noninvasive clinical imaging could be the solution."
Fields of science
- medical and health sciencesbasic medicineimmunologyautoimmune diseases
- engineering and technologymedical engineeringmedical laboratory technologylaboratory samples analysis
- medical and health scienceshealth sciencesinflammatory diseases
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicinecardiologycardiovascular diseases
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Funding SchemeERC-POC-LS - ERC Proof of Concept Lump Sum Pilot