Prof. Dr. Karen Vanhoorelbeke

A novel biomarker to improve the quality of life of immune mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura patients.

Prof. Dr. Karen Vanhoorelbeke 
  Prof. Dr. Karen Vanhoorelbeke
  Laboratory for Thrombosis Research, IRF Life Sciences
  KU Leuven Kulak, Belgium.



Research Aims of this Study:

"The aim of this project is to study whether a novel biomarker for iTTP, open ADAMTS13, can (i) predict an iTTP relapse and (ii) be a signal for intensifying ADAMTS13 activity monitoring when patients are in remission."

How did Prof. Dr. Karen Vanhoorelbeke​ become interested in TTP research:

"In 2007, my research team started working on ADAMTS13, the enzyme that is deficient in TTP. We were immediately intrigued to extend our research to the pathophysiology of TTP, to invest in novel diagnostic assays and to develop novel drugs for this disorder. Following these research lines, we could focus on improving the quality of life of TTP patients."

How Prof. Dr. Karen Vanhoorelbeke believes this research will impact individuals living with or impacted by TTP:

"It is currently difficult to predict an iTTP relapse when patients are in remission. Although ADAMTS13 activity <10% during remission is known to be a biomarker for risk of relapse, this biomarker on its own is not very reliable to predict relapse as patients can live for years with an ADAMTS13 activity <10% without relapsing. Hence, there is an unmet need for novel biomarkers to better predict relapse in iTTP patients. If the novel biomarker, open ADAMTS13, better predicts relapse, management of iTTP patients will improve."

Comments from Prof. Dr. Karen Vanhoorelbeke to donors:

"I would like to thank the donors who support TTP research as TTP is not well-known to the general public making it less obvious to invest in TTP research. Investing in TTP research has tremendously improved our knowledge on TTP pathophysiology, the diagnosis of TTP and the development of novel drugs for TTP over the last 20 years. It allowed to improve the quality of TTP patients. However, TTP remains a devastating disease and continued research is needed to further improve TTP management and make TTP a less destructive disease."