In a few weeks I’m off to Pittsburgh again to participate in SARP III.
The focus of SARP III is to study the stability of clinical and molecular phenotypes of severe Asthma. Basically they’re looking for the bio signature of certain mast cells in the serum and plasma and whether they are maintained over the long term, which would help validate their hypothesis that persistent signature determines short and long term outcomes through interactions with lung and inflammatory cells. ( hope I’m saying this correctly)
As a study subject my role is pretty much the same as it was when I did SARP II, ie submitting blood and sputum, allergy testing, CT scans, PFTs, Bronchoscopy, etc. For precautionary reasons I have to spend 2 nights in the hospital following the bronchoscopy plus an additional day near the hospital before I’m allowed to fly home, making this SARP visit a full 6 days in length. There’s also a steroid injection involved this time and a follow up visit 3 weeks later, which I’ll do at the UCSF SARP site in San Francisco. After that, there are 2 annual follow up visits back in Pittsburgh.
At the suggestion of one of my readers (thank you Jonathan), I pre screened for the Sanofi Phase II clinical trials for the new drug Dupilumab, which has now expanded to include non-eosinphilic type asthmatics , but I came up short on the required FEV1 criteria of 40% or greater. I could have probably blown an acceptable FEV1 on a repeat test, but I learned that I can’t be in two studies at the same time anyway. My commitment to SARP is 3 years, so that pretty much excludes me from doing any other clinical trials until after that period, unless I drop out of SARP early.
In addition to the SARP testing, I also have a clinic visit with Dr Wenzel, whom I haven’t seen in person since the ATS convention in San Francisco last year. Among other things, the topic of lung transplant is likely to come up again.
So a very busy month on the science front. Which is OK, because rather than taking from the system, this time I’m giving a little something back. I encourage others with this disease to do the same. If you’ve already done so…..Thank You!
Update : Had to postpone going to Pittsburgh due to an unexpected hospitalization. Am re-scheduled now for Jan 2014.