Highlights from some of PROOF Centre’s core biomarker programs in organ failure and disease:

The Biomarkers in Transplantation (BiT) program is focused on replacing tissue biopsies with blood tests that diagnose and predict organ failure and rejection. Improving diagnosis and enabling prediction of rejection risk will allow the best treatments to be chosen and applied before damage is done. This approach will improve quality of life and health outcomes for patients, help physicians personalize treatments optimally, and decrease direct and indirect costs to our healthcare system and society.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients can experience a range of possible disease outcomes; however, physicians currently have a limited ability to predict individual patient outcomes and treat patients accordingly. The PROOF Centre is discovering and developing panels of blood biomarkers to help clinicians to distinguish patients with rapidly progressive disease from patients with stable or slowly progressive disease. These tests will allow physicians to implement patient- and time-appropriate treatment plans for individual CKD patients.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a progressive, epidemic lung disease that leads to poor quality of life and productivity. Patients are routinely under-diagnosed because of poor diagnostics. The goal of this program is to identify blood-based COPD biomarkers that allow a physician to determine who will undergo frequent exacerbation episodes, thus allowing more effective management and reducing hospital visits and costs. Click here to read more about the COPD program.

Chronic Heart Failure (CHF) is a progressive disease arising when the heart is unable to fill with (diastolic failure) and/or pump (systolic failure) blood sufficiently. Current diagnostic tools, beyond ultrasound, are unable to differentiate systolic and diastolic heart failure, but different management strategies are required for each. The PROOF Centre is working to develop blood biomarker tests to distinguish diastolic from systolic heart failure, to guide clinicians in selecting the most appropriate therapy for individual patients regardless of their remoteness geographically.

Acute Heart Failure (AHF) is a life-threatening condition characterized by inadequate cardiac output and blood pressure instability. AHF patients may develop CHF, or progress to require ventricular assist devices /cardiac transplantation, or death. Our objective is to discover blood biomarkers of acute heart failure to better manage patients facing the possibility of a ventricular assist device.

“Recovered” Organ Failure is achieved in many heart transplant recipients. Identifying when a therapy for organ failure is working allows physicians to tailor treatment decisions to each individual patient, thereby saving costs and potentially reducing side effects and complications over time. This program is using BiT data to develop biomarkers of cured heart failure in the transplant patient setting, and then bringing them to bear on patients with heart failure to monitor therapy for improvement.

New Biomarker Technology is needed for improved biomarker monitoring. The PROOF Centre is working with the UVic Genome BC Proteomics Center in developing and validating a multiplexed protein assay to improve specificity and enable targeted approaches for quantitation with increased sensitivity and decreased cost.