Adults Sought for Sarcoidosis Inflammation Study

Joana Carvalho, PhD avatar

by Joana Carvalho, PhD |

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inflammation in sarcoidosis

The Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research is urging adults with sarcoidosis to participate in a new study that will investigate how lymphocytes — one of the main types of immune cells found in the body — control inflammation and if this level of control is part of the reason why the disease manifests differently in patients.

According to the Foundation, understanding how these immune cells work and the impact they have on inflammation in sarcoidosis may help researchers and physicians distinguish between progressive and non-progressive forms of the disease and to develop new treatments.

The study, called BRITE (Bronchoscopy at Initial sarcoidosis diagnosis Targeting longitudinal Endpoints), is underway at four sites across the U.S. More information about study sites investigators’ contacts can be found here and here.

Patients participating in BRITE will be asked to visit one of the four study sites up to six times over a period of 18 months. On each visit, they may undergo a series of tests and medical procedures, including having their blood drawn to measure total lymphocyte counts, a bronchoscopy with lavage to assess the presence and activity of lymphocytes in the lungs’ airways, and possibly a chest X-ray and lung function tests.

A bronchoscopy is a procedure in which a flexible, lighted tube is inserted into a person’s lungs through the mouth or nose to examine the airways. It is sometimes accompanied by another procedure called lavage, in which a fluid is squirted into a small portion of the lungs and then aspirated to be analyzed.

Patients will receive monetary compensation for participating in BRITE.

In order to be eligible to participate in the study, patients must be 18 or older (up to 80 years), have been diagnosed recently with sarcoidosis (within the past 18 months), not be taking any immunosuppressive medications at the time of enrollment, and be able to travel to one of the four study sites:  University of California, San Francisco; National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado; University of Iowa, Iowa City; and Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Women who are trying to conceive or are pregnant, smokers (both active and recent quitters), those with severe lung disease (needing oxygen therapy at home), patients in whom sarcoidosis affects the brain or heart, and those with a history of cardiovascular disease or bronchoscopy complications, may not be eligible to participate in BRITE.