Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder affecting respiratory, digestive, and reproductive health. In particular, CF patients develop abnormally thick mucus linings in the lungs that can result in infections that lead to death. CF patients often experience pulmonary exacerbations, which are more severe episodes requiring additional medical treatment, and in many cases, hospitalizations.
Dr. Quon’s laboratory group aimed to design a blood test to predict early in the treatment course whether a patient will respond to pulmonary exacerbation treatment. The blood test can potentially inform CF clinicians to modify treatment plans in a timely manner.
Dr. Quon and his team employed multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) to analyze proteins in the blood of CF patients, and discovered that an increase in blood fibrinogen levels early in the treatment predicted improvement in lung function and other symptoms at the end of treatment. This is the first study to identify fibrinogen as an early predictive blood-based protein biomarker of treatment response in CF patients.