UK MMSG ASM Growth in Asthma Follow-up Meeting 2012

The meeting took place at the University of Nottingham, from Wednesday 18th to Thursday 19th January 2012, as part of the UK Mathematics-in-Medicine Study Groups series. This was a follow-up meeting, inspired by the problem Mathematical modelling of airway smooth muscle cell proliferation and apoptosis in asthma, which was studied at the UK MMSG Reading 2011.

The aims of the follow-up meeting were to decide how to extend the simple model of airway smooth muscle (ASM) proliferation developed during the MMSG 2011 study group in a way that would be both useful to clinicians and mathematically non trivial, as well as to discuss what experimental data should be sought in order to feed the model and/or test its predictions.

It was decided that an interesting extension of the work would be to include a qualitative model of the dynamics of asthma inflammation events, and study how the severity and frequency of these events would impact on the course of the disease. It was also decided that the experimental team would try to obtain relevant data, i.e. relating ASM mass (estimated from biopsies) and proliferation/apoptosis ratios to exacerbation characteristics. At the same time, the participants of the follow-up meeting involved in the AirPROM project would investigate whether data on the frequency and severity of exacerbations, in relation with lung function, was already available from their collaborators.

Since then, the model has been much improved, and relevant data has been obtained through the AirPROM framework, which has allowed assessment of the usefulness of quantities which emerged as key measures from the model. The results are currently being prepared for a publication.

List of participants