University of Birmingham researchers based within the Institutes of Applied Health Research, Immunology and Immunotherapy, and Microbiology and Infection, have recently been awarded a £1.8M grant towards Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) research. Professor Alice Turner and Dr Matt O'Shea have been awarded the grant by the NIHR Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme towards investigating the efficacy of the BCG vaccine in reducing moderate-severe exacerbations of COPD.
The Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme is a partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the NIHR and funds ambitious studies evaluating interventions with potential to make a significant change in the promotion of health, treatment of disease and improvement of rehabilitation or long-term care.
The vaccine for tuberculosis (Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, BCG) has been used to prevent tuberculosis (TB) for over 100 years, however there is growing evidence that its protective effects may be broader via effects on trained immunity. The STABILISE trial is...testing the efficacy of BCG vaccine to reduce moderate-severe exacerbations of COPD against placebo over 12 months.Professor Alice Turner and Dr Matt O'Shea, University of Birmingham
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an airways diseases characterised by fixed airflow obstruction, alongside typical clinical history and radiology. It often overlaps with asthma or bronchiectasis. COPD affects almost 2 million people in the UK, and exacerbations of COPD are mainly due to infection. Preventing these is particularly important because frequent infections can cause progression of lung disease and worsening of quality of life.
The STABILISE trial is an individually randomised, multicentre, double blind, two arm, parallel group, clinical trial testing the efficacy of BCG vaccine to reduce moderate-severe exacerbations of COPD against placebo over 12 months. It will recruit over 800 patients with COPD from secondary and primary care and will compare the rate of hospitalisations for infective exacerbations, quality of life, and number of days of antibiotic and steroid therapy in the follow up period between intervention and placebo arms. The trial will also explore the immunological basis by which BCG may confer non-specific protection against infection and determine acceptability of BCG vaccine for this purpose.