New Genetic Test Can Predict Disease Progression of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Predicting the disease progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is extremely important, as this condition progresses differently depending on the affected individual. Knowing if one has a poor outcome while still in the early stages can help doctors cater treatment and give the best options to the patient. Fortunately, a genetic test has been created to give doctors a better idea of disease progression. Yale University has recently entered into a licensing agreement with Veracyte, which gives Veracyte the rights to this genomic test.

About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

IPF is characterized by the hardening of the lung tissue without a known cause. While medical professionals do not know the cause of this disease, they do have theories. The theory is that people have a genetic mutation that makes them more susceptible to environmental triggers, such as smoking cigarettes and viral infections. Symptoms include shortness of breath, a dry cough, decreased appetite, weight loss, and the clubbing of fingers and toes. These symptoms can develop slowly over time, making it difficult to obtain a diagnosis. Unfortunately, a diagnosis comes with a life expectancy of 3-5 years. Treatments are meant to address symptoms.

About the Genetic Test

This test is a non-invasive blood test, which will be used on Veracyte’s nCounter FLEX Analysis System. This 52 gene signature will aid in predicting rapid disease progression in those with IPF. Studies have been conducted that prove that this test is more successful in predicting disease outcome than traditional diagnostic methods.

Yale and Veracyte intend to keep working on diagnostic techniques for those with interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) in order to improve the lives of those with these conditions. As of now, this new genetic test will help those with IPF, allowing doctors to give them better treatment and a better idea of outcome.

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