Research& Programs

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Research

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a member of several nationwide, multi-site clinical trial networks, including the American Lung Association Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC), the Pulmonary Trials Cooperative (PTC), the Long term Oxygen Treatment Trial (LOTT), SPIROMICS, the COPD Clinical Research Network (COPD CCRN) (now closed), and CONCERT (now closed). These networks are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).



INSIGHTCOPD (INtervention Study In overweiGHT patients with COPD)

INSIGHT COPD is a clinical study to find out if a program to help people lose a modest amount of weight and increase their physical activity will help improve chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) symptoms for patients with a high Body Mass Index (BMI). The program offers a lifestyle coach, a series of DVD sessions focused on healthy eating and physical activity, and encourages participants to monitor their weight, diet, and physical activity for 18-months. We hope that the program will lead to weight loss, better exercise tolerance, and less shortness of breath.

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RETHINC is a clinical study to determine if individuals with early signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) benefit from a long-acting bronchodilator medicine, indacaterol/glycopyrrolate. Many people with COPD have evidence of airflow obstruction on a special breathing test called “spirometry”, however, a subset of people with COPD do not demonstrate airflow obstruction, but have symptoms such as chronic cough and shortness of breath. RETHINC will study whether current and former smokers who do not have evidence of airflow obstruction on spirometry benefit from long-acting bronchodilators

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LEEP(Losartan Effects on Emphysema Progression)

LEEP is a clinical study for adults over the age of 40 who have mild to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The purpose of this study is to learn how a medicine called Losartan may help people who have COPD with emphysema, damage of lung tissue over time.
Participants are followed for 1 year at the University of Illinois at Chicago. LEEP is part of a nationwide NHLBI funded network that has over 20 clinical centers across the US.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects at least 15 million Americans and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.  COPD exacerbations lead to about 700,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year.  Results from clinical trials and the recently published clinical guidelines indicate that long term use of either roflumilast or azithromycin significantly reduces the risk of COPD exacerbations.  No studies to date have directly compared long term roflumilast to azithromycin in patients with COPD, so it is unclear how well they work when compared to each other.  Based on these observations, the COPD Patient Powered Research Network (PPRN), part of PCORnet, is leading a broad-based collaborative to conduct a large pragmatic trial to evaluate chronic roflumilast vs. azithromycin for the prevention of COPD exacerbations (RofLumilast or Azithromycin to preveNt COPD Exacerbations [RELIANCE] Study).


See why patients and clinicians are interested in the RELIANCE study here: RELIANCE at a glance

RELIANCE network of networks map 07282015 final


Comparative effectiveness of a PEer-Led O2 Infoline for patient and Caregivers

Funded by PCORI, this study tested whether a patient-centered PEer-Led o2 Info-line for patients and CAregivers (PELICAn) will increase adherence and improve health of patients with COPD who are on oxygen.

PELICAN recently completed enrollment, Read more about PELICAN’s progress so far.
Read more about the PELICAN project here: PELICAN Takes Flight – Lung Health Professional Magazine

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Check out our partner’s website here. The COPD Foundation, an advocacy organization for people with COPD, provides access to educational material and resources for people living with COPD.


Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), SPIROMICS collects and analyzes phenotypic, biomarker, genetic, genomic, and clinical data from participants with COPD for the purpose of identifying subpopulations and intermediate outcome measures.

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The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of 6 sites nationwide to participate in the COPD Outcomes-based Network for Clinical Effectiveness Research Translation (CONCERT). Recruitment for CONCERT is now closed, but additional information about the CONCERT study and network can be found below.

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Stakeholder priorities for COPD effectiveness and implementation research are available at the National Institutes of Health website here.

Clinical trials in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) usually require evidence of airflow obstruction and clinical risk factors, whereas other COPD case definitions are used for epidemiologic studies and performance improvement programs.  The objective of the CONCERT study was to evaluate agreement between these case definitions for COPD. Results available here.

The Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System 43-item short form (PROMIS-43) and the five-level EQ-5D (EQ-5D-5L) are recently developed measures of health-related quality of life (HRQL). The aims of this study were to examine their psychometric properties in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  Results available here.

More information about CONCERT is available on PubMed.

SimvaSTATin in the Prevention of COPD         Exacerbations

The STATCOPE trial investigated whether use of Simvastatin, a medicine typically used to lower cholesterol, decreased the number and seriousness of COPD flare-ups. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in May, 2014, and the results were presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference. Read the results here: STATCOPE.NEJM.2014

COPD Clinical Research Network logoSPIROMICS- Sub populations andintermediate outcome measures in COPD Study

Pulmonary Research Registry

We offer UI Health patients and community members the opportunity to join the Pulmonary Research Registry (PRR). The registry is akin to a sign-up list for people who want to hear about exciting new research at UIC. As part of the PRR, you receive a quarterly newsletter packed with useful information and resources.

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