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Asthma affects nearly two million Australians. In its most severe form, it can be life threatening. At QIMR Berghofer we are leading a trial that could mean around 30% of sufferers or 600,000 people will have the ability to manage control their asthma symptoms.
To bring a potential treatment to the point of clinical trials is incredibly hard work. With your generous support we can take our research findings through to the next level.
Dr Manuel Ferreira and his team have been looking at why certain genes are more active in people with asthma than in those without asthma.
Now he is leading the first worldwide clinical trial of the drug Tocilizumab for the treatment of asthma, to be completed by the end of this year.
Dr Ferriera’s work is a perfect example of the many central projects that need funding to progress to trial stage, tackling cancers to depression to malaria.
With Dr Ferreira’s trial, it is hoped to prove that by blocking or dulling the activity of these highly active genes, asthmatics will be able to manage their symptoms using medication that is already available to patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
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For mum of three, Tiana, this would come as a huge relief: 'I’ve had severe asthma symptoms for as long as I can remember, and now two of my three children have it. If there was a treatment that meant I wouldn’t have to live each day with the anxiety of a serious attack, that would be amazing.'
Asthma can present in many different forms—both mild and severe. It commonly develops in childhood, but can continue through adulthood. In people for whom attacks are a daily risk, like Tiana, living with severe asthma can be debilitating.
'Sometimes I can’t breathe or stop coughing and it makes me feel helpless. As primary breadwinner and carer to my husband, I’m scared if something does happen to me that I won’t be there to provide for my family.'
Many asthmatics are unable to prevent these attacks. When they happen, the ability to breathe depends on access to their medication, and, it working in time. It can also drastically restrict what you can do and where you can go, in order to avoid a range of triggers.
By testing the effectiveness of Tocilizumab, it could limit the daily anxiety faced by sufferers, giving them the means to manage their symptoms, which would come as a huge relief.
The potential for this research is very promising as Dr Ferreira explains: 'We have the potential to apply this research to many other conditions, such as eczema and hay fever.'
A lack of funding can often slow the process and progress of research discoveries through to trial stage.
Your donation is an investment in medical research that is changing lives, making a real impact on many debilitating and life threatening diseases.
As someone interested in progressing medical research to its fullest potential, thank you for your generous investment in the future health and wellbeing of our community. We truly appreciate your support.