We were very excited to attend our first PFF Summit this year, as pulmonary fibrosis is a growing area of focus for us at RepeatDx. Here we reflect on our experience and share our highlights…
Telomeres and pulmonary fibrosis
The field of telomere biology research has grown dramatically in the last 15 years and associations are being discovered between telomere length and an increasing number of conditions. RepeatDx is the leading clinical diagnostic laboratory specializing in telomere length testing and we are heavily involved in this medical research.
Telomere length is becoming a focus area of research in relation to pulmonary fibrosis (PF). Studies have shown associations between telomere length and survival outcomes. You can find out more about the links between telomere length and PF here.
RepeatDx at the PFF Summit
We had a brilliant time at the PFF Summit and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, whilst also learning a lot. For us there were three key highlights:
1. The science
The Summit had a full and engaging program with some plenary sessions designed for everyone to attend and others tailored for specific audiences (e.g. healthcare professionals or newly diagnosed patients).
The two sessions we found the most relevant, and important for the work we do in PF research and clinical practice, were:
- KEYNOTE: Translational Genomics: The Future is Now – Edith Perez, MD
Dr Perez delivered an engaging talk illustrating shifts within oncology, that could also be applied to PF research and care. She explained how it is becoming the norm to harness the power of genomics, enabling the delivery of personalized medicines. She also noted the strengths of combination therapies across clinical trials and treatments in order to drive progress.
This session proceeded with interesting talks from presenters at the forefront of PF research, each sharing new data and perspectives.
- Impact of telomere length and mutations on treatment and transplant responses in pulmonary fibrosis – Christine Kim Garcia, MD
Dr Garcia’s presentation focused on the role of mutations in genes related to the telomere pathway and on the utility of telomere length as a biomarker in PF. She shared examples from clinical findings in a large family, showing the condition can be inherited in some cases. She also shared results demonstrating the impact of applying these novel parameters to the evaluation and care for individuals with PF.
The session wrapped up with a dynamic Q&A involving the audience and speakers; indicating the high level of interest in this area.
2. The focus
The goal of the PFF Summit is to improve education and awareness of PF and to identify new approaches to treat, and ultimately cure, this disease.
We found it powerful to be in a setting with so many people all with the same strong and motivational aim.
This event has certainly got us returning to the lab with renewed vigor and great new connections – as we’re sure it has done for many others!
3. The people
During the time on our exhibition stand, we had the chance to interact with so many different people; patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and researchers.
This is always our favorite part of attending events and meetings – having the chance to talk to a range of people all with different perspectives. For us, this is an important way to share knowledge and insights. Collaboration was a buzzword at the Summit and we look forward to working together to improve care for those affected by PF.
For this reason, our key highlight was being so motivated and inspired by the people we met!
RepeatDx is proud to support the important work of the PFF. The PFF Summit 2019 was the PFF’s fifth biennial international health care conference on PF. You can find out more about the Summit and watch the recorded sessions (when they become available) here.
A list of all the Summit sponsors and exhibitors is available here.
If you want to find out more, or have any questions about the role that telomere length testing can play in the diagnosis and treatment of PF please do contact us.