New national study to find best treatment for childhood asthma

New national study to find best treatment for childhood asthma

New national study to find best treatment for childhood asthma

9th Sep 2020

A new Liverpool-led national clinical trial aiming to find the best treatment for children with mild asthma has been awarded £1.5m from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

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In order to learn how best to treat children with mild asthma, a team of researchers from across the UK, led by co-Chief Investigators Dr Ian Sinha from Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust and Professor Paula Williamson from the University of Liverpool, have launched a new clinical trial to find out if taking a preventer inhaler only when a child has symptoms is as effective as taking it every day. Appointing co-Chief Investigators for this study recognises the clinical and methodological expertise required to deliver the study.

The study, Assessing SYmptom-driven versus Maintenance Preventer Therapy for the Outpatient Management of AsThma In Children (ASYMPTOMATIC), will involve around 250 GP practices across the UK. Parents of children with mild asthma at any of these practices will be asked if they would like to take part. If the parents agree, their child will be randomly assigned to one of two different approaches to using the preventer inhaler. They will either take it every day, or only when they have symptoms of asthma. Care for the children will then be as it would in routine practice, and the data required extracted from electronic health records, thus minimising the burden for participants.

The study has been awarded more than £1,597,900 worth of funding from the nation's largest funder of health and care research, NIHR.

Associate Clinical Professor and Respiratory Consultant Ian Sinha said: “The trial will answer one of the most pressing and important questions about the fundamentals of managing childhood asthma. This is a condition which affects many millions of children, worldwide. We need a study to know the best way to control their inflammation – on the one hand we don’t want to put children at risk of asthma attacks, but on the other hand we don’t want to expose them to side effects of medications if we don’t need to. Given the differences between paediatric and adults asthma, it is right that we conduct studies in children”.

Paula Williamson, Professor of Medical Statistics and Lead for the MRC/NIHR Trials Methodology Research Partnership (TMRP), said: “This funding will enable us to conduct this innovatively designed study which will use routinely collected data, in collaboration with Clinical Practice Research Datalink and the Liverpool Clinical Trials Centre. This type of study directly responds to the top priority identified by patients and the public for clinical research, namely, to answer how can randomised trials become part of routine care and best utilise current clinical care pathways?"

The following organisations are also involved in the study; Queen Mary University of London; Bangor University; Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, The University of Edinburgh; The National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London.

Please click here to view full press release.

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