• Press Release

Integrated, Multi-“omic” Studies of Asthma Could Lead to Precision Treatment

Mount Sinai researchers’ review of asthma classification efforts highlights the importance of multidimensional data for stratifying a complex disease

  • New York, NY
  • (July 02, 2019)

Carefully designed, integrated multi-“omic” studies could accelerate the use of precision medicine for asthma patients, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In an invited review article published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Scott R. Tyler, PhD, and Supinda Bunyavanich, MD, MPH report that numerous studies have shown the value of applying transcriptomics and other “omic” approaches (the study of the role, relationships, and actions of a system-wide measure of a given molecular type) for defining asthma subtypes—but they also cite the need for more studies aimed at pulling together these disparate data streams for a more comprehensive view of the disease.

Asthma is a highly heterogeneous disease, presenting with a broad range of symptoms. According to the American Lung Association, more than 26 million Americans have asthma. It is the third most common cause for hospitalization among children. Much effort has gone toward establishing clinical and molecular subtypes—known as endotypes—of asthma in order to better understand the disease and hone treatment recommendations for patients in each group.

“Endotypes are important for physicians and biomedical researchers because they organize the way we think about asthma, which manifests in many different ways across patient populations,” said Dr. Bunyavanich, faculty allergist/immunologist and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “By strategically integrating clinical and molecular data, it should be possible to identify meaningful endotypes that both enhance our mechanistic understanding of asthma and guide our clinical care of asthma toward the best treatments for each subtype. This is important for optimizing patient outcomes.”

The review covers several types of omic studies that have been applied to asthma already, including transcriptomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, proteomics, and microbiome analysis. But, as the authors note, each approach captures only one dimension of the disease biology. More complex studies that integrate multiple layers of data have begun, but additional work is needed.

“We are in the early stages of these more sophisticated and comprehensive analyses of asthma, but the growth in available patient cohorts, data repositories, technology, and analytical tools gives us confidence that this kind of approach is rapidly becoming more feasible,” said Dr. Tyler, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bunyavanich Lab at Mount Sinai. “As this concept gains traction, it will be essential for researchers to ensure careful study design and implement rigorous methodology for the most reliable results for future use in precision medicine.”

The Bunyavanich lab is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 AI118833 and NIH U19 AI136053

Paper cited: Scott R. Tyler and Supinda Bunyavanich. Leveraging -Omics for Asthma Endotyping. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2019.05.015

 


About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is one of three medical schools that have earned distinction by multiple indicators: It is consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report's "Best Medical Schools," aligned with a U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" Hospital, and top 20 in the nation for National Institutes of Health funding and top 5 in the nation for numerous basic and clinical research areas. Newsweek’s “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals” ranks The Mount Sinai Hospital as No. 1 in New York and in the top five globally, and Mount Sinai Morningside in the top 20 globally.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.