The Levine group is involved in multiple clinical studies involving severe asthma, or asthma that is not well controlled by standard medications such as high-dose inhaled corticosteroids or oral prednisone. The goal of these clinical studies is to better understand why about 5-10% of asthma patients have severe asthma that is steroid-resistant, and to test whether new medications are effective for these patients.
While these studies are designed to uncover more information about severe asthma, people with mild or moderate asthma can also participate.
1. Severe Asthma Pioglitazone Clinical Trial
The purpose of this study is to determine if a widely used drug for treating diabetes can improve asthma. Pre-clinical studies have shown that pioglitazone can reduce airway inflammation triggered by asthma allergens.
More detail can be found here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00994175
2. Longitudinal Observational Study of Severe Asthma
This study will compare severe asthmatics with mild or moderate asthmatics or people without asthma over a long period of time. The purpose of the comparisons is to learn more about the factors that cause severe asthma. This information may help identify new treatments for people whose asthma is not well controlled by standard medications.
More detail can be found here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01780142
3. Genetics of Asthma Research Study
This study looks to identify genes that may be involved in the development or severity of asthma. By uncovering the genes linked with severe asthma, researchers may be able to identify new targets for asthma therapies.
More detail can be found here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct/gui/show/NCT00001532
4. Sample Collections from the Airways of Asthmatic Patients
The purpose of this study is to identify the factors that may cause airway inflammation in patients with asthma. This study involves a procedure called a fiberoptic bronchoscopy in which cells and fluids are collected from the airways using a pencil-thin tube that is passed into the lungs.
More detail can be found here: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00001888
Eligible patients for any of these trials will receive a comprehensive evaluation at the NIH Clinical Research Center in Bethesda, Maryland. There is no cost to participate in any of the trials; studies #3 and 4 will also provide monetary compensation for those participating.
For further information on any of these studies, please contact the research coordinator, toll-free, at 1-877-NIH-LUNG (1-877-644-5864), extension 2 or via email at LungStudy@nhlbi.nih.gov. You may also contact the NIH Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office via TTY 1-866-411-1010.
You can also read more about severe asthma research at the NIH campus here: http://patientrecruitment.nhlbi.nih.gov/CC/asthma-research.htm