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Virtual Lung Models to Personalize COPD Treatment

A team of international experts has launched a project to develop a tool they believe will tailor the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the European Respiratory Society. The five-year project, Airway Disease Predicting Outcomes through Patient Specific Computational Modeling (AirPROM), will create computed and physical models of the airway system to help researchers and doctors predict how patients might react to various treatments.

While researchers are continually working to improve the treatment and diagnosis of COPD, the current methods to detect and treat these conditions do not always consider individual differences in the airways. As a result, COPD patients may not receive the most effective treatment. The project, if successful, will address the problems that researchers and doctors have long faced in matching more advanced, targeted treatment approaches to the right patients.

By using unique computed models of the cells in an airway and a physical model of the airways, in conjunction with existing data and tests, the AirPROM research team will be able to test new therapies and tailor treatments to individual patients. These tools will also help scientists predict how the diseases will progress and effect the airways to help monitor the future risk to patients. The team, which comprises scientists from more than 10 European countries, also hopes to assess how air flows through the lungs and why it becomes obstructed in people with asthma and COPD.

The end goal of the project is to use this information to generate an extensive database that links the characteristics of different airways to a particular treatment, helping health professionals provide personalized treatment for people with COPD and asthma.

“This new model will help us to visualize activity in our lungs and see how our illness affects our breathing,” said Breda Flood, a patient with asthma and board member of the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients Association (EFA) in a recent Medical News Today article. “By gaining an insight into how specific treatments will work, patients will have a better understanding of how to manage their condition in the future.”

AirPROM is a part of the Virtual Physiological Human Project, which aims to help support and progress European research in biomedical modeling and simulation of the human body.

Click Here to Access the Full Story from the European Respiratory Society

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