The clinical research team under Professor Catherine Smith at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guy’s Hospital, London, in collaboration with Dr Francesca Capon’s group at King’s College London (Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics) are running a research project looking at the potential causes of pustular psoriasis.
The PLUM clinical research team
The observational research study is known as PLUM (Pustular psoriasis, elucidating underlying mechanisms) and is looking for patients with a diagnosis of pustular psoriasis to take part at centres around the country. More info can be found here.
The study involves collecting data and clinical samples from patients at one study visit, with the option for recall to a couple of additional visits for further samples within the following 1-2 years.
Dr Capon explains why they are conducting the study:
What is the objective of our research?
The main aim of our research is to identify genetic changes that lead to the onset of pustular psoriasis. We have already identified a small number of genes that are malfunctioning in pustular psoriasis patients and these discoveries have taught us a great deal about the causes of the disease. We therefore believe that identifying additional pustular psoriasis genes will shed further light on disease mechanisms and help the development of much needed treatments.
Why are we collecting blood samples?
Blood cells are a source of both DNA and RNA (a molecule that is similar to DNA, but is only produced from genes that are active at a given moment). Comparing the DNA of affected and unaffected individuals can help us uncover genetic differences that are associated with the disease. Likewise, comparing the RNAs of patients and controls can show us which genes are abnormally active in affected individuals.
Why are we collecting skin samples?
Pustular psoriasis mostly affects skin. This is therefore the tissue from which we can learn the most about disease mechanisms. For this reason, we are planning to compare blood samples with skin samples from affected individuals and healthy controls.
PLUM is open at a number of centres around the country. If you are interested in finding out more, please visit our webpage or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org