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COPD. 2010 Feb;7(1):51-8. doi: 10.3109/15412550903499530.

Identification of distinct plasma biomarker signatures in patients with rapid and slow declining forms of COPD.

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  • 1Merck & Co., PA, USA.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a prevalent pulmonary disease characterized by a progressive decline in lung function. The identification of biomarkers capable of predicting the rate of lung function decline or capable of giving an early read on drug efficacy in clinical trials would be very useful. The aim of this study was to identify plasma biomarkers capable of accurately distinguishing patients with COPD from healthy controls. Eighty-nine plasma markers in 40 COPD patients and 20 healthy smoker controls were analyzed. The COPD patients were divided into two subgroups, rapid and slow decliners based on their rate of lung function decline measured over 15 years. Univariate analysis revealed that 25 plasma markers were statistically different between rapid decliners and controls, 4 markers were different between slow decliners and controls, and 10 markers were different between rapid and slow decliners (p < 0.05). Multivariate analysis led to the identification of groups of plasma markers capable of distinguishing rapid decliners from controls (signature 1), slow decliners from controls (signature 2) and rapid from slow decliners (signature 3) with over 90% classification accuracy. Importantly, signature 1 was shown to be longitudinally stable using plasma samples taken a year later from a subset of patients. This study describes a novel set of plasma markers differentiating slow from rapid decline of lung function in COPD. If validated in distinct and larger cohorts, the signatures identified will have important implications in both disease diagnosis, as well as the clinical evaluation of new therapies.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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