Vasculitis Foundation Canada

By Jon Stewart

GPA & MPA Genetics Study Moves to Phase 2 for Rare and Lethal Vasculitis Diseases

The different Phases of Genetic Research

1. Study the underlying genetics + 2. Study the protein interplay

= 3. Vastly Better Treatment

Vasculitis Foundation Canada (VFC), is pleased to announce a bold new direction in a longstanding genetics study on two rare, but lethal, vasculitis diseases, namely Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis GPA (Wegener’s), and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA).

The initial genetic study commenced in the spring of 2001 in what is believed to be the first genetic research on Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis(GPA) (Wegener’s), in the world. At that time VFC joined forces with Dr. Katherine Siminovitch, M.D., FRCP(C), from Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital to help co-ordinate, with limited VFC funding, this ground breaking research in an area where virtually no genetic studies or information previously existed!

Dr. Siminovitch is a Rheumatologist, Geneticist and Senior Investigator at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. After almost 15 years of extensive work Dr. Simonovitch has commented, “Today’s genetic research is actually a three phase process, firstly; study and understand the underlying genetics at the gene level, then study the proteins which are involved in the genetics, and finally translate this knowledge into effective and targeted modern treatments. Today, we actually know a significant portion on the underlying genetics of these two diseases, the focus now is to study the role of various proteins and then hopefully translate this information into better, less toxic and personalized treatments”.

To understand the protein/genetic interplay requires following a group GPA/MPA patients on regular intervals, over time, and to monitor these changes. Together with VFC our goal is to increase our base of GPA/MPA patients who will be followed at regular intervals, at least once every six months.

VFC is pleased to advise that the recruiting of more patients in this ground breaking work is already underway, and will continue at a more feverish pace. Dr. Siminovitch will be giving a full update on her research at the VFC AGM on Saturday, April 16, 2016 in Cambridge, Ontario, click here for full details, and to attend. She will explain the importance of this next step and the potential payoff it can have in finding targeted, less toxic and personalized treatments for lethal diseases. VFC anticipates that collecting samples for this protein study can easily be accomplished, and which has already started in 2015 at the VFC spring and fall meetings, and the annual VFC summer picnic and walk.

For complete study and contact information on this study, and all six ongoing vasculitis genetic studies please follow this link and read point 4. “Under Ongoing Genetic Studies”.