Research at CPC-M - Children’s interstitial lung disease – chILD

Research at CPC-M

Children’s interstitial lung disease – chILD

DZL scientists collect data for more effective treatments

What are the chronic diseases of the lungs in children?

The acronym chILD stands for a large number of rare chronic lung diseases in children. The tissue around the alveoli, the interstitium, is affected. The acronym chILD was formed from the initial letters of the English abbreviation children´s interstitial lung disease.

These interstitial lung diseases make breathing more difficult because the alveoli are less elastic than in healthy people. Children are often unable to absorb enough oxygen through the lungs, which they compensate for by breathing more quickly. However, this costs a lot of energy, which is why they are more quickly exhausted and less resilient than their peers. However, the disease has a good prognosis. The children learn very well to live with it or they feel better from year to year. Some children even become symptom-free in the course of time.

Closing the gap – systematic search for new therapies for chILD patients

Since these diseases are so rare, the medical community still knows very little about their causes and courses. In addition, there is no drug yet that has been tested for the specific treatment of chILD. All drugs are currently administered "off label", i.e. outside of the approval on the basis of pure experience.

chILD-EU is a project funded by the European Union, a European long-term registry for rare childhood and adolescent lung diseases. It collects data, images, biosamples (blood, tissue, etc.) of chILD patients. In total, the samples of more than 800 families are now included in the register. In this way, physicians want to learn more about disease causes, the course of disease, examination techniques and therapy options. In the meantime, new candidate genes have been identified and further patients have been identified by gene matching.

At the CPC-M, the group led by Professor Matthias Griese coordinates this collection of data.