RE-TREAD: Revisiting the NIH Taskforce on the Research needs of Eosinophil-Associated Diseases

April 20, 2018

Today, an important review paper was published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. The publication, titled “Revisiting the NIH Taskforce on the Research needs of Eosinophil-Associated Diseases (RE-TREAD)”, is a progress report on the unmet needs of our patient community.

APFED has long advocated for federal research priority for eosinophil-associated diseases and supported related efforts. Six years ago, we actively planned a meeting with NIH and the Office for Disease Prevention which became known as the “Taskforce on the Research Needs of Eosinophil Associated Diseases (TREAD) Workshop”. This task force, comprised of experts from various specialties that treat these diseases, such as allergy, gastroenterology, pathology, and others, was charged with proposing and prioritizing unmet research needs for eosinophil-associated diseases. Shortly after, APFED co-authored a pivotal paper that is known as “the TREAD document.” This report highlighted the areas of need for eosinophil disease research to guide the distribution of funds as they became available.

In summer 2017, a taskforce assembled once again at the International Eosinophil Society (IES) Symposium to review the state of current progress in research and resources and to compare it to unmet needs today. Kathleen Sable, APFED Board Member, traveled to Sweden to participate as a taskforce member, contributing to the discussion and presenting the need for new medical codes for subsets of eosinophil-associated diseases that currently do not have them. Kathleen also worked to co-author the recent paper in Journal of Leukocyte Biology. The paper provides a review of the meeting and states:

“RE‐TREAD focused on gaps in basic science, translational, and clinical research on eosinophils and eosinophil‐related pathogenesis. Improved recapitulation of human eosinophil biology and pathogenesis in murine models was felt to be of importance. Characterization of eosinophil phenotypes, the role of eosinophil subsets in tissues, identification of biomarkers of eosinophil activation and tissue load, and a better understanding of the role of eosinophils in human disease were prioritized. Finally, an unmet need for tools for use in clinical trials was emphasized. Histopathologic scoring, patient‐ and clinician‐reported outcomes, and appropriate coding were deemed of paramount importance for research collaborations, drug development, and approval by regulatory agencies. Further exploration of the eosinophil genome, epigenome, and proteome was also encouraged.”

APFED is committed to serving in both active and supporting roles to see that progress continues until the unmet needs of our community are resolved. We look forward to continued contributions to the field.