For a paper entitled “Cigarette Smoking Acutely Decreases Serum Levels of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Biomarker sRAGE”, Dr Daan Pouwels received the prestigious Young Investigator Best Paper Award. The paper was co-authored by Klont, Kwiatkowski, Wiersma, Faiz, van den Berge, Horvatovich, Bischoff, and Ten Hacken and was published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in December 2018.
In The Netherlands alone more than 500,000 people are diagnosed with COPD, a severe and incurable lung disease. Recently, sRAGE was put forward as the most promising blood-derived biomarker for COPD.
In the current study we show for the first time that smoking immediately (within 2 hours) and strongly (up to 50%) decreases the serum concentration of sRAGE. This information is very important for the usability of sRAGE as biomarker for COPD. Study participants smoking just prior to blood-sampling may severely affect the results and induce large variation in sRAGE measurements. Therefore, our data indicates that controlling or monitoring smoking behavior prior to blood sampling may increase the precision and specificity of sRAGE as biomarker for COPD.