A researcher at Case Western Reserve University has been awarded a grant to fund the development and testing of medication combinations tailored for kids with asthma and cystic fibrosis.

The first major study of its kind is being led by principal investigator Dr. Benjamin Gaston, MD, chief of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonary, Allergy and Immunology and professor of pediatric medicine at Case Western School of Medicine and University Hospital’s Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

“While there are a number of medications used to treat these conditions, until now they have not been combined in large numbers of patients with an aim of discovering which combinations work best for specific disease profiles. Cells of cancer patients can be studied for response to different agents and combinations of agents in order to identify the best treatment approach,” Gaston said in a press release.

“Here, we will take a similar approach to individualize therapy for severe airways diseases. The focus of our project is personalized medicine: identifying the most synergistic treatment method for each patient based on their own needs. The investigators anticipate that this approach will be adopted over time by other pediatric medical centers throughout the country and around the world,” he added.

Gaston’s team at CWRU studies cysteine modifications downstream of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activation, which are mechanisms relevant to CF, asthma, pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and apnea.

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