Biobank

The National Platelet Research and Referral Centre (NPRC) is seeking to improve the understanding of platelet disorders, like Immune Thrombocytopenia, and identify the most effective treatment options. The range of platelet disorders includes those resulting in low platelet numbers and bleeding related to platelet dysfunction. In improving the understanding of these platelet disorders, the aim is to help people living with these diseases and to provide a more comprehensive diagnosis and a ‘personalised’ treatment program specific to their condition.

PLATELET RESEARCH

Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is commonly a chronic, immune-mediated disease characterised by a transient or long-lasting decrease in platelet counts.

The diagnosis and treatment of ITP is limited by the available resources and therapies. Primary ITP is diagnosed through a process of exclusion, with isolated thrombocytopenia as the only truly universal feature. Patients with ITP experience numerous serious clinical consequences that are both physical and psychological, and the clinical investigation of patients with ITP varies widely but generally consists of a peripheral blood count and evaluation of a peripheral blood smear.

The treatment of ITP generally comprises conventional first-line treatments, which affect the immune system, followed by a growing range of second-line options. Whilst newer therapies are emerging, a lack of diagnostic tools and definitive understanding as to which treatment will work for which individual leaves healthcare professionals, patients and their families guessing when deciding on the next option of treatment.

The Biobank at John Curtin School of Medical Research is a central hub where research is being undertaken for Immune Thrombocytopenia. Led by our Medical Advisor, Dr Phil Choi, his research project: Unravelling Immune Thrombocytopenia: From Diagnosis to Treatment Options, utilises the samples in the biobank to identify the nuances of the disease to help those living with the disease, now and into the future.

Thank you to the team at JCSMR, including Dr Phil Choi, Professor Elizabeth Gardiner and Dr Sidra Ali and the research team for helping to provide ITP Patients with an understanding of their disease at the 2024 ITP Patient Conference.

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Published: 4 April 2024

John Curtin School of Medical Research