26 June 2019

PVRI 1 Year Research Grant Award

We are pleased to introduce the project from the PVRI 1-Year research grant awardee Lucilla Piccari and colleagues.

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What's the project?

The survey on pulmonary hypertension in diffuse respiratory diseases (SUPPORT) aims to characterise pulmonary hypertension in lung disease through the use of real-life data from registries in Italy, Spain and the UK. For this, PVRI has decided to fund the first-year of the project, which will focus on the design of a common imaging database - this being one of the main focuses of the study.

Who is involved in the project?

The main researchers are:

  • Lucilla Piccari, pulmonologist: recruited in 2013 by Marc Humbert to work at the French National Reference Centre for PH in Paris, she then continued her work in Barcelona at the Spanish National Reference Centre for PH with Joan Albert Barberà. She is currently coordinating the Spanish National Registry for severe PH associated with Lung Disease in Hospital del Mar (Barcelona, Spain), where she works in collaboration with Diego Rodríguez. Besides focusing on severe PH associated with lung disease, she is a keen right-heart haemodynamist and is involved in basic science and translational projects in PAH and CTEPH.
  • Patrizio Vitulo, pulmonologist: after working in San Matteo Policlinico in Pavia as a transplant pulmonologist, in 2005 he contributed to the development of the first lung transplant programme in southern Italy and implemented the local pulmonary hypertension programme in Palermo (Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Currently, he is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at UPMC and Director of the pulmonology unit at ISMETT. He is the head of the ISMETT Pulmonary Hypertension Centre and medical Director of the local lung transplant programme. He was the principal researcher of studies and research projects in the field of pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and lung transplantation.
  • Stephen John Wort, pulmonologist: a HEFCE funded Clinical Senior Lecturer at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital, he is Clinical Lead for Pulmonary Hypertension at the Royal Brompton Hospital, which is an NCG designated national centre for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension. His clinical specialities are pulmonary hypertension and intensive care eedicine. Dr Wort gained his MRCP (Royal College of Physicians of London) in 1996, and was elected as a Fellow (FRCP) in 2010. He was awarded his PhD in 2002 (Imperial College London).
  • Diego A. Rodríguez, pulmonologist: Clinical Lead for Pulmonary Hypertension Unit and Multidisciplinary response team of Pulmonary Embolism (PE) at Hospital del Mar (Barcelona), which is designated excellence centre for the treatment of PE in 2016 (Spanish Respiratory Society, SEPAR). His clinical specialties are pulmonary vascular diseases and exercise physiology. He is associated professor of Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and PH researcher into the Respiratory Spanish Network of Respiratory disease (CIBERES). He was awarded his PhD in 2013 (University of Barcelona).

What are the project goals?

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The main aim of the project is to find a phenotypic profile of a subset of group 3 PH patients,– who may respond to current targeted therapies. The implementation of a central imaging database is fundamental for the development of a large-scale study in pulmonary hypertension associated with respiratory diseases. The derived data could provide the missing information in regard to parenchymal and vascular alterations in this group of patients, which could in turn add invaluable phenotypic profiling.

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What can you tell us about the project so far?

Lucilla Piccari

"Severe pulmonary hypertension associated with lung diseases has been traditionally overlooked despite its prevalence and clinical relevance in terms of morbidity and mortality. I would like to thank the PVRI for supporting this fundamental study - the biggest to date in size and scope. It will help shedding some light on this frequent but poorly understood group of diseases."

Patrizio Vitulo

"The numerous gaps of evidence in Group 3 PH have been constituting a challenge for expert PH physicians for many decades and we hope with this project to be able to deal with some of them, so that we will be able to provide patients with better care in the future."


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