A Systems Approach to Chronic Inflammatory Disease
Chronic inflammatory diseases (CID) of barrier organs ( Gut, Skin, lung) affect millions of young patients worldwide and cause a significant loss of quality of life and disability in affected individuals. Approved therapies aim at suppressing exaggerated adaptive immune responses, however only 50% of treated patients experience a lasting remission of disease symptoms. This number includes the use of innovative therapies like biologics (antibodies targeting key inflammatory cytokines), which due to their high costs put a significant cost burden on health care systems worldwide.
Although the genetic risk background of patients can be very different ( e.g. with over 160 risk loci identified in Crohn disease) the manifestation of disease is monomorphic regardless of affected cellular pathways. As symptomatic treatment by immunosuppression often does not fully control the inflammatory process and resulting tissue destruction, a large unmet need exists to identify individualized early therapeutic interventions or preventive actions, which are ideally given before irreversible damage to organs ( e.g. fibrosis) occur. An emerging and important topic in this group of diseases are co-morbidities (often metabolic complications like increased incidence of diabetes or atherosclerosis). It is important to note that co-morbidities contribute signficantly to frailty and mortality in CID, independent of general population effects.
The consortium bundles different expertises and scientific fields in order to create a systems medicine understanding of CID. We focus on molecular mechanisms of manifestation, therapeutic response and disease progression integrating several layers of dynamic molecular information The ultimate aim aim is to predict individual disease courses and thus to guide precision clinical therapies. We currently follow several approaches from deep longitudinal characterization of individual patients as well as prospective follow up of large cohorts of individuals at risk to develop CID (kindred cohort).
Subprojects in SysINFLAME:
Keywords: Chronic inflammatory diseases, inflammatory bowel disease