You are a special butterfly, a unique person with individual traits and characteristics – so is your asthma. While there is a general understanding of what asthma is there are large variations in the severity of the condition and treatment options. When overwhelmed with options it is nice to turn to science to understand what route of care will be most effective. One tool of increasing importance is using biomarkers (measurable biological indicator) to inform treatment selection. 

Biomarkers help target specific phenotypes (observable genetic characteristics) that help to determine if a specific treatment will be more effective for a patient. Testing this for real-world applications is important to help improve care plans. 

This real-world test gathered data from 84 sites in 13 countries. All participants were using fluticasone propionate ≥500 µg or equivalent as a daily inhaled corticosteroid. This is a classic standard care plan for those with Asthma so understanding the interplay with biomarkers is important. By following participants for a year and tracking asthma exacerbation rates they could see the impact of this treatment in relation to certain biomarkers. 

The ARIETTA study followed 465 participants with severe Asthma for 1 year monitoring various biomarkers. Researchers looked at the change in asthma exacerbation rates to determine if rates of the biomarker serum periostin had an impact. Other biomarkers assessed were blood eosinophils, immunoglobulin E, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide were also measured.  

No clinically meaningful differences were observed between periostin subgroups or in the other measured biomarkers. While the clinical utility of periostin as an asthma biomarker is unclear, much was learned in the ARIETTA study. These works build the knowledge base of biomarkers in relation to standard care practices.The type 2 biomarker levels were generally stable across visits, suggesting that multiple Type 2 biomarker assessments over time may not be necessary. The potential predictive and prognostic ability of blood eosinophil count and FeNO was also an important finding of the study. 

Biologic treatments are the way forward. Understanding the impact these tools have on individuals is critical to ensure quality care is accessible for all. The ARIETTA study has added to that knowledge base, to learn more about the full result in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. Here.