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ALLIANCE – Study on asthma subtypes

Today we differentiate between two basic forms of asthma, allergic and non-allergic asthma. In allergic asthma, an excessive reaction of the immune system leads to chronic allergic inflammation of the respiratory tract. Patients often suffer from other allergic symptoms, such as allergic rhinitis or conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye). In some cases, the symptoms occur only at certain times of the year, e.g. in the case of an allergy to pollen. House dust mite allergy sufferers often have symptoms all year round. Many patients also suffer from non-allergic asthma which is related to non-allergic airway inflammation. It seems however likely that many more subtypes of asthma exist and which differ between children and adults. Yet, reasons for this heterogeneity are not understood.

In Munich the ALLIANCE study visits are carried out in the Christiane Herzog Outpatient Clinic of the Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich. The ALLIANCE team measures children's lung function, takes blood samples, performs sweat tests and nasal swabs, and measures exhaled air using an electronic nose, the "e-nose".  After a first comprehensive basic examination, the patients come again for a further visit every 12 months. Healthy children are also enrolled as a comparison group.

The aim of the ALLIANCE study is to be able to offer asthma patients more individualized treatment in the future. The researchers are focusing on finding biomarkers (measurable indicators) that make the respective subtypes of asthma definable. Pediatricians and physicians should be able to clearly diagnose these subtypes: What prognosis does this child have – a good one or a progressive course of the disease? To which subtype does it belong? In contrast to the current state of diagnosis and therapy, the physicians want to treat children with asthma more specifically, earlier and more individually.



Dr. rer. med. Sabina Illi

Statistician, Deputy Director
Porträt Jimmy Omony

Dr. Jimmy Omony

Porträt Nicole Maison

Dr. med. Nicole Maison

Physician Scientist

Prof. Dr. Markus Ege

Senior Scientist



Dr. rer. med. Sabina Illi

Statistician, Deputy Director