DÓCHAS: Hope for children with IBD
The NCRC funded DÓCHAS study (Determinants and Outcomes in Children and Adolescents with IBD) is studying children diagnosed with IBD over a period of time to discover what exactly has been driving this increase.
DÓCHAS is the first study to follow patients with paediatric IBD over time in Ireland. It is led by two NCRC Principal Investigators, both of whom are Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologists based at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC): Dr Seamus Hussey and Professor Billy Bourke.
The DÓCHAS research programme, and its linked Discovery Bank, have been running since January 2012. They are key to developing an understanding of why childhood IBD is on the rise, both in Ireland and Internationally, and for finding new ways of improving treatment. The research follows all children newly diagnosed with IBD, who have not yet had treatment, right through to adulthood, measuring their disease progression along the way. All factors are considered in the study including genetics, environment, treatment, blood samples, and tiny samples of diseased tissues – even the microbes residing in their gut are being studied. Already, 512 children have participated in this study.
Ireland is in a unique position to do research into the roots of paediatric IBD for a number of reasons. First, the study captures all children in Ireland with this condition, as they all attend the Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology at OLCHC, the single national referral centre for complex gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary diseases. Second, the genetic similarities in the Irish population narrows down the search for clues to the cause of the disease.
The long-term goal for DÓCHAS is that its data will help doctors in their decision as to what is the best treatment regime for each child, at each stage of their disease. The DÓCHAS Discovery Bank also brings hope of new discovery of biomarkers indicating disease progression, and for potential new therapies.
- 512 children enrolled
- Best Young Investigator award by the Irish Society for Gastroenterology 2015
- Running for 4 years
- New finding of a protein linked to inflammation in the gut of children with Ulcerative colitis