New Research Seeks to Learn More About Bronchiectasis to Guide Treatment

A new bronchiectasis research study was added to the clinicaltrials.gov website on New Years Day. This observational study, called the BRIDGE Study (Bronchiectasis Research Involving Databases, Genomics, and Endotyping) is intended to identify meaningful differences in disease mechanisms between patients. More specifically, the primary goal of the study is to identify different molecular endotypes of the disease. This is intended to help guide treatment going forward.

About Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis is a disease of the lung which is most characterized by the permanent enlargement of certain areas of the lung’s air passages. This illness can be both acquired or congenital. It often appears as the result of other diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and many others. Heroin, alcoholism, and inhalation of toxic gases like ammonia can also increase the risk. There are also several genetic disorders and conditions that increase the risk, such as immunodeficiency, Marfan syndrome, and Young’s syndrome. In many cases, the cause is unknown. Symptoms include coughing up mucus, lung infections, clubbed digits, wheezing, chest pain, coughing up blood, and shortness of breath. Treatments include inhaled steroids, postural drainage, antibiotics, and surgery. The exact frequency of this disease is not well known. To learn more about bronchiectasis, click here.

Why Bronchiectasis is Hard to Treat

An endotype is effectively a subtype of a given condition which is defined by a unique functional mechanism. Historically, bronchiectasis has been a difficult illness to treat. In fact, a number of recent clinical trials testing potential treatments for the illness have been unsuccessful. This is probably due to the fact the bronchiectasis incorporates a broader range of disease characteristics that tend to vary in presentation as well as multiple endotypes.

Other objectives of the study include:

1. Identify endotypes of stable bronchiectasis.

2. Determine the inflammatory nature of disease exacerbations as well what causes them.

3. Confirm the validity of biomarkers for exacerbations and stable disease endotypes. 

4. Perform proof of concept studies that will identify patient groups that could benefit from future trials utilizing phenotypic (disease characteristics) data.

The study is expected to include around 1,000 patients. The researchers will take a variety of patient samples in order to gather the data needed to fulfill the study objectives. This long term study is expected to be completed over a period of five years.


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