COPD biomarkers, in the words of a 2018 clinical study, can help clinicians in many ways, including “diagnosis, facilitating patient characterization, quantifying disease severity, determining prognosis, predicting and detecting response to treatment, and investigating the pathophysiology of the disease/diseases.” As COPD biomarker significance keeps emerging, this short article looks at specific related research and its potential.

COPD Biomarkers: Implications and promise

The significance of COPD biomarkers has been studied extensively but is still only partially understood. For example, research tells us that so far, COPD biomarkers are limited in scope. A 2019 article in Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine stated, “Blood-based biomarkers for diagnosing and determining the progression of COPD remain disappointingly elusive.” It continued: “Although there have been some advances in nonblood-based markers, such as those from imaging, exhaled breath or physiologic assessment, these remain limited…to research applications.”

Biomarker research has remained active, including the 3-year international ECLIPSE study, and has revealed new findings that “combinations of biomarkers improve predictive value [in disease severity, progression, and mortality].”

As recently as 2020, inflammatory biomarkers have been shown to help delineate between COPD and COPD combined with asthma.

Blood-based biomarkers for diagnosing and determining the progression of COPD remain disappointingly elusive.

Recent research (Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine) indicates that so far, the spectrum of COPD biomarkers is limited, but study continues to reveal new and promising data.

Looking beyond biomarkers

Biomarkers are not the only area being researched for potential in treating COPD.

For example, an NIH report of 2021 described a pilot study that “found that hyaluronan, a sugar naturally produced by the body, improved lung function in hospitalized COPD patients.”

On other fronts, stem cell therapy, valve surgery, medication combinations, and biologic drugs all may hold promise.

COPD biomarkers value may be in their predictive capability, their role in the delivery of personalized, precision medicine, and the possibility that clinicians may be able to slow the onset and progress of the disease.

We remain hopeful. And while no clinical application or intervention exists yet for COPD biomarkers, there is every reason to monitor ongoing study.

The integrated care management model by SeniorBridge

Home care services vary widely in the services they provide.

SeniorBridge offers an integrated care management practice model that involves two components:

  1. Clinical care (under the direction of an RNCM/Registered Nurse Care Manager) supported by a Social Worker and a team of caregivers, based on patient’s needs and
  2. A portfolio of home care services and geriatric care management in such areas as nutrition, caregiver education, benefit coordination, transportation, and coordination with discharge planners, physicians, pharmacy, home health agencies, and care managers.

NOTE: We have full COVID-19 safety protocols in place to keep clients, families and associates safe.

For more information on medically directed home care, contact SeniorBridge.

Sources consulted:
The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (2018)
National Library of Medicine/National Center for Biotechnology Information (2019)
National Library of Medicine/National Center for Biotechnology Information (2014)
National Library of Medicine/National Center for Biotechnology Information (2014)
COPD News Today (2020)
NIH (2021)

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