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27th January 2020 Asthma and Allergies

A potential game-changing therapy for asthmatics

Dr Gokhan Cildir

A new therapy could improve the health of severe asthmatics.

A game-changing new clinical therapy that could improve the health of people who suffer from severe asthma is being developed by a local Adelaide researcher.

Australia has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world, with 1 in 9 people affected by this chronic condition.

Dr Gokhan Cildir, from the Centre for Cancer Biology, is fighting for these vulnerable patients after successfully securing an Early-Career Fellowship from The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF).

Dr Cildir has identified a protein in a specific subset of immune cells which, when activated using a specially designed tool, could target these cells in the lung responsible for the inflammation experienced in asthma.

“In many disease conditions, inflammation is not resolved and becomes chronic due to different genetic or environmental reasons. One particular disease where chronic inflammation plays a key role is severe asthma,” Dr Cildir said.

“Currently, there are very little treatment options for asthmatics and treatments such as steroids or antibodies are ineffective to simultaneously target the affected cells in the lung tissue of asthmatics. My research aims to try and activate the body’s immune cells critical for the treatment of severe asthma.

“I have identified a protein exclusively expressed on the surface of these cells and designed a completely new method to specifically reduce the affected cells in the lungs of patients.

“If it works in the clinic, we believe that it could be a real game-changer therapy.”

Dr Cildir says his work could not have progressed if it wasn’t for the support of THRF and its generous donors.

“Thanks to The Hospital Research Foundation, my Early-Career Fellowship has allowed me to keep working on this important project and has given me the opportunity to contribute to the health and wellbeing of people in our society.”

We can’t wait to update you on Dr Cildir’s fight against asthma!