As part of our ongoing seminar series, the Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma hosted Prof. Liam Heaney, for a webinar on “Stratified Medicine in Severe Asthma” on 09 April, 2016.
Clinical assessment of difficult-to-treat and severe asthma is complex. A range of disease mechanisms cause disease in different patients. Stratified medicine is an approach to improve diagnosis and treatment for individual patients. The aim is to provide a personalised approach. This approach targets the specific processes causing disease in each person.
The goal of stratified medicine is to direct the right treatment, to the right patient, at the right dose. This approach is different from current asthma guidelines. Traditional guidelines use a step-wise approach to asthma. This approach centres on escalation of steroid doses to control asthma symptoms.
Biomarkers provide information about biological processes. Biomarkers have been proposed to inform stratified medicine. Biomarkers may be useful to identify poor adherence, predict response to therapy and to inform the selection of targeted treatment options for individual patients.
Prof. Heaney is a Clinical Professor at Queen’s University Belfast and a member of the British Thoracic Society and the European Respiratory Society. He founded and coordinates the British Thoracic Society UK Severe Asthma Network, the British Thoracic Society National Difficult Asthma Registry and the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) UK Thermoplasty Registry. He is also Academic Lead for the Medical Research Council UK Refractory Stratification Programme (RASP-UK), which aims to further understand how biomarkers can be used in severe asthma management.
Prof. Heaney has participated in clinical trials in severe asthma and co-authored over 100 research publications in the clinical assessment and management of severe asthma.
Prof. Heaney’s major research areas are the clinical assessment in difficult-to-treat asthma and mechanisms involved in severe disease, including the identification and management of poor adherence to therapy and development of novel biomarkers and translational therapeutics in severe disease.