We caught up with Dr Monica Nordstrom, Respiratory Physician, and Rahki Patel, Research Respiratory Physiologist, in the Research and Development team, to find out more about the ongoing research trials for asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) patients.
Latest figures show that there are over five million people with asthma in the UK, and the NHS spends around £1 billion a year treating and caring for people with asthma. While there is a range of effective medicines available to help prevent and relieve the symptoms of asthma and methods for managing the condition have increased, research plays a vital role in understanding the causes, how to reduce attacks and discovery of new treatments.
“Asthma research has played an important role at St Peter’s Hospital for 30 years,” explained Dr Nordstrom, who recently presented at the Research and Development Open Day at St Peter’s in November. “We currently have seven ongoing trials with around 20 people taking part in these on an ongoing basis. However, we’re always looking for new research participants, from those with mild asthma through to moderate or severe sufferers. Participants tend to take part in our research for up to a year although it can be longer. We usually see patients to monitor their progress on a monthly basis, although it can be as often as every two weeks depending on their symptoms. Our research involves the use of new drugs, either injectable or inhalers or combinations of these. Many of our studies are ‘double blind’. What this means is that both the researcher and the participant are unaware of the nature of the treatment the participant is receiving. These are thought to produce more objective results and also the type of drug administered is not revealed to the researchers until the study is over.”
“We’re really proud of our asthma research track record,“ added Rahki Patel. “These are multinational studies which not only go a long way to finding new treatments for asthma sufferers but also brings valuable funding and finance into Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. Our results really put us on the map as a leading research body within the NHS.”
Read more about our research team’s work in respiratory conditions on our website: www.asph.nhs.uk/research-studies-respiratory