The convergence environment

Novel personalized management strategies for fibrosing diseases (FibroPET)

The convergence environment aims to improve the course of the disease and treatment outcome of patients with fibrosing diseases. Fibrotic diseases are at the most severe end of the chronic inflammatory disease spectrum and among the least understood. Chronic inflammatory diseases are a major health challenge in Western Societies in terms of costs, lost life-years and reduced quality of life. Fibrotic diseases may be restricted to one organ system (e.g. organ fibrosis in lung, heart, kidney), or affect multiple organs as in complex fibrosing diseases such as systemic sclerosis (SSc).

Previously, fibrosis was viewed as equivalent to scar tissue, and considered as an irreversible, end stage process. Recent breakthrough studies suggest that fibrosis is a potentially reversible process amenable to therapy, with two anti-fibrotic drugs already approved. This gives hope, but highlights major knowledge gaps in how to detect, assess and track fibrosis. Identifying patients with fibrotic diseases at the earliest disease stages is crucial for efficient intervention. Time from first symptom to diagnosis is still dismal - 3 years on average for several of the subgroups due to insufficient knowledge in patients and both primary and secondary care. It is well-known that actively involving patients in therapeutic decision-making improves self-management of daily treatment. Furthermore, patient empowerment beyond treatment decisions is of importance to develop well-functioning systems for those patients.

We will identify, develop and test new personalized clinical management strategies for patients with fibrosing diseases to improve outcome and quality of life. Specifically, we will (1) focus on basic research to establish new positron emission tomography (PET) tracers, including their utility in preclinical studies; (2) integrate PET imaging into clinical practice for diagnosis, prognostic and outcome evaluation; (3) conduct a randomized clinical trial applying personalized approaches; (4) integrate a learning design to facilitate timely diagnosis and knowledge-based medical decisions. The proposed interdisciplinary Convergence Environment (CE) will enable highly competitive basic, translational and clinical research, together with research driven innovation and communication strategies, and initiate new clinical trials and translation into clinical use, benefiting patients with fibrosing diseases.

Primary objective

  • To develop personalized strategies for identification, monitoring, treatment, patient management and outcome assessment in patients with fibrosing diseases.

Secondary objectives

  • Test and validate novel molecular imaging techniques for in vivo detection, characterization and quantification of fibroblast activity in tissues, and assess the utility in patients with fibrosing diseases (WP1).
  • Integrate molecular imaging of fibrosis with molecular inflammation imaging, clinical features and omics-based biomarkers for baseline assessment, precise disease activity monitoring and outcome assessment in fibrosing diseases (WP2).
  • Integrate novel molecular imaging of fibrosis in a personalized therapeutic approach implemented in randomized clinical trials (WP3).
  • Establish a communicative partnership approach and learning arrangements to improve patient involvement, self-management strategies and competencies in the above clinical settings of fibrosis treatment (WP4)

Project leader: Mona-Elisabeth Rootwelt-Revheim Associate professor, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, UiO

Principal investigators:

Novel personalized management strategies for fibrosing diseases (FibroPET) - UiO:Life Science

Sist oppdatert 05.07.2024