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Immune system protein accurate predictor of survival in pediatric septic shock
Date:8/1/2008

of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College (UC) of Medicine. "Excluding patients who respond to standard care would enable investigators to focus clinical trial enrollment on patients least likely to respond well to conventional methods and find the most effective new therapies."

Because the reagents to measure IL-8 are available and blood samples can readily be obtained from patients, Dr. Wong wants to develop a "point-of-care" test that can be used to detect the Il-8 biomarker in septic shock patients, especially patients being considered for clinical trials. He has submitted a provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office through the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation for IL-8 as a stratification biomarker in pediatric septic shock.

Despite today's potent antibiotics and pediatric intensive care units, septic shock remains a serious public health challenge. Sepsis sets off a chain reaction of events that can ultimately lead to uncontrolled inflammation in the body and puts a person's entire immune system into overdrive.

When infections spread throughout the bloodstream, known as sepsis, the immune system makes certain proteins called cytokines, including IL-8 and other interferons, to help fight the infection. The presence of cytokines and toxins from the infection dilates blood vessels, dropping blood pressure to dangerously low levels. Blood flow to vital organs, including the kidneys and brain, becomes inadequate. The heart tries to compensate, but it weakens as blood vessels walls may leak, allowing fluid into tissues and the lungs, which can cause difficulty breathing. The resulting condition, in which multiple organs malfunction, is called septic shock.

Apart from antibiotics, supportive care and vaccination strategies, no specific therapies are approved by the FDA for pediatric septic shock.

For their study, Dr. Wong and colleagues obtained blood serum me
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Contact: Nick Miller
nicholas.miller@cchmc.org
513-803-6035
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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