A new biomarker that detects severity of COPD!

 Using biomarkers in medical science for determining the state and stage of any disease is an age old practice.

Last Updated: May 17, 2016, 19:21 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Using biomarkers in medical science for determining the state and stage of any disease is an age old practice.

Recently researchers have discovered a new biomarker that may help them identify patients who are at high risk of lung disease and needs better treatment.

For people who are unfamiliar with this concept, a biomarker is a measurable indicator of a specific biological state and also evaluates the severity disease.

It may also be used to see how well a person responds to a treatment for a disease or a condition.

This landmark discovery may help identify patients with higher risk of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonar

y Disease (COPD).

Researchers discovered lumps of white blood cells called neutrophil extracellular traps (NET) present in lungs of COPD patients. These lumps are actually discarded white blood cells that have failed to their bilogical task of cleaning up cellular debris.

The discovery is extremely beneficial in highlighting a new biomarker target for scientists that will enable them to combat COPD at cellular level.

“This marker may help us identify patients at higher risk of disease progression. And it identifies a subset of patients who may need treatments other than corticosteroids,” said James D Chalmers from University of Dundee in Scotland