UK PSC/PSC Support Award
Awarded to University of Birmingham
Dr Palak Trivedi, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Centre for Liver Research
The total grant awarded is £15,000
Duration of award: 01 April 2018 to 01 April 2022
Award details: Validating the Prognostic Utility of Vascular Adhesion Protein 1 in Primary ScleRosing Cholangitis: The VAPoR Study
Dr Trivedi will draw on the UK PSC data set (to which many UK PSCers have already given blood samples
Yield a robust, validated biomarker for patients, which is linked to the underlying disease process and accurately predicts prognosis in PSC.
Improve understanding of the features that define high versus lower risk groups.
Provide a better evidence base to identify those most in need of new treatments, and consequently refine the criteria that determine clinical trial eligibility.
Dr Palak stated, "The vast majority of patients with PSC also develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) at some point in their lifetime. Although the precise reasons for this are incompletely understood, data from our group suggests that an enzyme called vascular adhesion protein (VAP)-1 becomes elevated in PSC liver, and attracts immune cells from the gut which drive inflammation. Furthermore, I have recently published a study measuring VAP-1 in the serum of patients, where it was found that in PSC there are higher levels than found in IBD alone and when compared to individuals without liver disease. Moreover, elevated serum VAP-1 values predicted poorer prognosis (increased risk of liver transplantation/liver-related death) with a high degree of accuracy in PSC.
"This study aims to (a) test and prove the findings from the original study, across a larger nationally representative PSC population, (b) measure the active versus inactive levels of VAP-1 in serum, (c) use cutting edge technology and biostatistics to dissect the interactions between VAP-1 and other suggested markers of disease outcome, and (d) determine whether, and how, changes in blood VAP-1 correlate with the post liver transplantation course that patients experience."
This ambitious study is expected to take 4 years to complete, looking at an area of critical importance to people with PSC.