2017 Update

Study Progress and Research Findings

  • We have reached a big milestone in our study as we are completing the 5-year time point, so thank you all who participated. What a commitment!
  • In our last letter, we told you about the progress we made in understanding immune cells involved in sarcoidosis. We discovered “Th17.1” cells in the blood and lungs of sarcoidosis patients, and this has opened up a new area of research.
  • Some of our findings in 2017 from the NKT study were published by Dr. Bryan Benn in the paper: Clinical and Biological Insights from the University of California San Francisco Prospective and Longitudinal Cohort. In this cohort study, we found obstructive lung disease to be the most common lung abnormality. We also identified specific blood gene expression markers that were associated with a decline in breathing tests. We hope to use these markers someday to predict which patients are at risk of developing severe disease.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Gelfand published his new findings on central nervous system sarcoidosis in Infliximab for the treatment of CNS sarcoidosis: A multi-institutional series. They found that infliximab, a monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor-α, is associated clinical treatment responses when given to CNS sarcoidosis patients.
  • You can check out full versions of both papers on our website at http://sarcoidosis.ucsf.edu/articles

What can we do with this information?

  • findings give us hope that in the future we will have several biomarkers to use in clinical practice, and new drugs targeting them with the goal of decreasing side effects of therapy.
  • findings can help educate doctors about the symptoms that patients with sarcoidosis suffer from so they may be better in finding ways to alleviate the suffering.

What is new?

  • We have a new study called Sarcoidosis2.0 which is focused on understanding the immune system in patients with a new diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Participants will be followed for 2 years to compare immune system function at diagnosis to the 2-year follow up time point.
  • are completing another study that is focused on something called “epigenetics of T cells”, which means we are interested in understanding how the environment affects the DNA of T cells in people with different forms of sarcoidosis. This study is called the “ET” study.
  • We anticipate starting a new NIH observational study which will look at immune cells from lung washing samples at new diagnosis of sarcoidosis patients and compare the cells at 6 months after enrollment.

How can you get involved?

  • , you already have! We are very grateful for your time and dedication to this research.
  • are new studies which you may be interested in hearing about, such as the “ET” Study for participants with all types of sarcoidosis and the Sarcoidosis2.0 study for participants with a new diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Feel free to reach out to us with questions at [email protected]
  • that as tax-payers, we all can get involved in our cause. We can contact our California Senators, Dianne Feinstein and/or Barbara Boxer, or our San Francisco Representative, Nancy Pelosi. We need to inform these government representatives that more attention needs to be paid in recognizing the disabilities inflicted by sarcoidosis, and improving resources for patients. If you don’t live in San Francisco, your local Representative can be found at www.house.gov/representatives/find

Again, we are very grateful for your time and dedication to this research effort! On a more personal note, we are happy to congratulate Zoë on her accomplishments as she (sadly) has left the team to begin her medical school career this fall, leaving Sid, Victoria, and Nicholas to carry on our research. We are happy to welcome Anne to our team!