University of New Mexico (UNM) Health Sciences Center investigators recently participated in a new study that found that African American children with asthma respond differently to commonly used asthma treatments compared with white children, and older children and adults. The UNM site was one of 30 in 14 states to participate in the Best African American Response to Asthma Drugs study as part of AsthmaNet, a network funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
The Study & Findings
Recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study’s results suggest that looking at results from one population and extrapolating the findings to African Americans of any age group doesn’t work reported Hengameh Raissy, PharmD, research professor and vice-chair of research in the UNM Department of Pediatrics. Raissy was the principal investigator for UNM’s part of the asthma study and is an associate director of the UNM Clinical & Translational Science Center.
Raissy explained, “What the study tells us is that you have to study and include different populations when it comes to managing a condition.” He emphasized that “In previous asthma studies we didn’t have many African American children. It tells us that pediatric patients can respond differently when compared to adults.”
Importantly the study revealed that diversity is not a nice-to-have but a fundamental requirement in clinical research. Government, academic, commercial sponsors and community organizations must morph clinical research as we know it transcending existing patterns.
What is AsthmaNet?
AsthmaNet is a network funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The clinical site investigational network was created to develop and conduct multiple clinical trials to address the most important asthma management questions and new treatment approaches in pediatric and adult populations. Designed to promote cooperation and coordination, not to mention facilitate scientific exchange and offer communities training opportunities and resources. It involves multiple clinical centers and a data coordinating center.
UNM Participation in IDeA State Pediatric Clinical Trial Network
Raissy and Alberta Kong, MD, a professor in the UNM Department of Pediatrics, are co-directors for the NIH-funded IDeA State Pediatric Clinical Trial Network, which conducts studies for the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes program. It focuses on pre-, peri- and postnatal health, obesity, upper and lower airway conditions, neurodevelopment and positive health.
Hengameh Raissy, PharmD
Call to Action: The AsthmaNet study finds that different populations may react differently to various treatments. If your organization conducts clinical research build in a diversification strategy into the core research protocols.