About this Research Topic
Vasculitides are rare immunological diseases characterised by inflammation of the blood vessels. They are classified according to the size of the vessels involved and their prognosis is heavily influenced by the disease itself, as well as by the treatment required. Although the disease course is typically chronic, disease severity is very broad - ranging from life threatening to very mild courses. Moreover, the therapeutic array available to patients is significantly expanding. Therefore, the implementation of personalized medicine approaches in order to assign the most effective therapy to each individual patient will be essential for: (i) obtaining effective disease control at early stages of treatment; (ii) improving patient outcome and (iii) to avoid patient exposure to ineffective and potentially toxic drugs.
As part of advancing this translational approach, increased investigation into the role of the immune system, as well as of inflammatory signalling cascades, in the pathogenesis and the progression of vasculitis is essential for improving our understanding and treatment of this group of diseases.
We welcome the submission of Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Classification and Clinical Trial articles that discuss the following topics:
1. Improving the understanding of the immunological pathogenesis of vasculitis:
• Exploring the role of adaptive and innate immune cells in the development of vasculitis including T cells, B cells, neutrophils and ILCs.
• Improved measures for the classification of vasculitis diseases via the identification of shared immune signalling pathways that contribute to the pathogenesis of vasculitis.
• Identification of genetic determinants associated with the risk of developing vasculitis or particular subsets of disease.
• The role of the interplay between the microbiome and immune system in the pathogenesis of vasculitis as well as in influencing disease course.
2. Immune biomarkers in vasculitis
• Identification of factors associated with vasculitis outcome as well as response to therapy.
• Improvement of disease classification via the use of immune biomarkers.
• Biomarkers as tools to improve our understanding of the underlying immunopathology of this disease.
3. Identification of potential new therapeutic targets in the field of vasculitis
• Pilot therapeutic studies relying on surrogate translational outcomes of interest
• Associations of different targeted therapies and effects on immunological outcomes
• Immune biomarker guided disease sub-setting and treatment implications (for example, treatment approach in ANCA+ vs ANCA- ANCA associated vasculitis etc.)
Given the broad spectrum of organs involved in vasculitis, as well as the significant clinical heterogeneity, a wide range of specialists are involved in their management; we encourage experts with different backgrounds to contribute studies with a key immunological focus.
Keywords: vasculitis, biomarkers, ANCA
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