Dr Don Sin on Using Biomarkers and Genomics for COPD Prevention

Don Sin, MD, FRCP, MPH, a professor of respiratory medicine at the University of British Columbia and head of the Centre of Heart Lung Innovation, St. Paul’s Hospital, discusses future possibilities for the prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using new biomarker discoveries and genomic technology advancements.

Don Sin, MD, FRCP, MPH, a professor of respiratory medicine at the University of British Columbia and head of the Centre of Heart Lung Innovation, St. Paul’s Hospital, discusses future possibilities for the prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using new biomarker discoveries and genomic technology advancements.

Transcript

Do you think there might be a future role for predictive biomarkers or genomics for assisting with prevention efforts—for example, if a young adult discloses to their physician that they're vaping and they are told that they have a higher risk for obstructive lung disease later, beyond just their vaping behavior?

I think that's certainly in the cards. I'm not sure that that information alone will change behavior. As you know, behavior modification is complex and difficult. So I'm not confident that information itself would modify teenagers’ behavior or for somebody in their 20s. But nevertheless, these predictive biomarkers that you're talking about are coming down the pike with more research and, frankly, with better technology. So one of the barriers in the past has been our technology was crude. Now with the advent of genomics and multiomics and proteomics and all the other -omics, you know, I think the future is very bright for predictive biomarkers, response biomarkers, therapeutic biomarkers. So I think that is the wave of the future.