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#461481 - 01/29/12 11:51 PM Searching for AS patients for study
MaxHaeussler Offline

Registered: 01/29/12
Posts: 3
Loc: santa cruz, ca
Hi, we're a group of human genome researchers who are starting to work on ankylosing spondylitis. We don't want to sequence genomes, but the T-cell receptors from blood samples of AS patients. After sequencing, each blood draw gives a table with a list of several thousand T-cell receptors and their frequency in the blood.

We hope to find either:
a) a group of T-cell receptors that are increased in frequency during a flare-up of a single patient.
b) a group of T-cell receptors that are common among several patients.

If we find a T-cell receptor that goes up and is common among patients this is not a cure, but at least it would be a starting point in the search for the trigger of the disease. It could also be used to put patients with similar receptors into groups.

Our problem is that we have only around 13 patients until now - we have lots of analysis support and money, but no hospital. One of the patients has a massive clonal expansive of a single T-cell type, but we need more patients to verify if this is more common.

I am not completely sure but I think we can provide the result of the sequencing to the patients, if they want to look at them in Excel and compare with their friends profiles.

Do members of the forum have an idea where we could find patients that would be willing to either get one blood draw or, even better, multiple blood draws (some while they have the active disease, some where they feel better, others while they have other infection, e.g. a cold?) We would only need blood and a description of the disease status of the patient. We are also interested in HLAB27- patients.

Do you know of any hospitals that already have a group of AS patients that are willing to collaborate?

Thanks for any ideas!

#461483 - 01/30/12 12:51 AM Re: Searching for AS patients for study [Re: MaxHaeussler]
mig Offline

Registered: 04/27/02
Posts: 12441
Loc: ON, Canada
Hi Max, and Welcome to KA.

Yours is an interesting post. Perhaps if you would give us an idea of who you are, along with where you are located, it might help some within our membership to provide you with possible suggestions.

There are probably many many hospitals with Rheumatology research clinics that might be interested in collaborating. From my neck of the planet smile you could try contacting Dr. Robert Inman (or Dr. Gladman) at: Arthritis & Autoimmunity Research Centre, which is apart of the University Health Network of Toronto Western Hospital, in Canada. They definitely have a large AS patient group.

There are so many large centres with established AS patients, you could probably pull the names of department heads and researchers that have an interest in AS, from Rheumatology journals or even PubMed, and look for ones in your area?

Great that you are helping to further studies on AS, Max - thank you!!

#461507 - 01/30/12 10:53 AM Re: Searching for AS patients for study [Re: mig]
MaxHaeussler Offline

Registered: 01/29/12
Posts: 3
Loc: santa cruz, ca
Hi, thanks for the pointer, you are right, I should have mentioned my affiliation: We are at the University of Santa Cruz, Bioengineering, Haussler lab. We do human genome analysis.

It might seem strange for Genomics people to work on AS, but we hope that using this new approach, massive sequencing, we can contribute something which most Immunologists might have a hard time doing.

I got all papers from pubmed about AS and mapped the affiliations, but I thought that maybe someone here knows more about ongoing studies or people interested in this. I will next send emails to the 5-6 labs on the West coast and ask them specifically.

Thanks again for your help!

#461508 - 01/30/12 11:03 AM Re: Searching for AS patients for study [Re: MaxHaeussler]
MaxHaeussler Offline

Registered: 01/29/12
Posts: 3
Loc: santa cruz, ca
Hi again, just updated my profile with my contact information, I didn't see the profile update menu at first.

#461513 - 01/30/12 12:05 PM Re: Searching for AS patients for study [Re: MaxHaeussler]
mig Offline

Registered: 04/27/02
Posts: 12441
Loc: ON, Canada
Hi again Max,

Thanks for updating your profile! Considering your location, you may be interested in contacting: Dr. John D. Reveille in Houston Texas. I believe his area of interest has focused on mapping new gene associations to AS. (Texas is a little closer than Toronto, anyway. smile )

From NIAMS site, below this article (Jan 2012): Scientists Gain New Insights into Genetic Mechanisms of Ankylosing Spondylitis there is a good list of international researchers with a special interest in the Spondyloarthropathies.

I hope you will find a partner willing to collaborate!
Best of luck - we'd love to hear back on your research progress!!



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