Autoimmune liver diseases: Prof. Christoph Schramm and colleagues plan European network for improved treatment and research activities

13 April 2015

Autoimmune liver diseases include the autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), the primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), the primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and the IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD). These diseases arise from an abnormal immune response of the body against its own cells. The complexity of autoimmune liver diseases requires a high degree of special expertise in diagnosing and managing affected patients. New and more effective treatment options are urgently needed in order to improve the quality of care.

A project entitled “AID Livernet” is now planned to pool the expertise of leading treatment centers across Europe. The aim of the improved information exchange across national borders is to optimize and standardize the treatment of patients with autoimmune liver diseases, and thus to ensure quality of care. Access to up-to-date information on the diagnosis and treatment options will be provided to non-specialist physicians as well as affected patients; unmet clinical needs can be identified and targeted.

The project’s initiators are Prof. Christoph Schramm and Prof. Ansgar W. Lohse, both University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, as well as Prof. Dave Jones, University of Newcastle, Scotland, and Prof. Tom Hemming Karlsen, University Hospital Oslo, Norway. The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) supports the network project with 50,000 Euro. The database and online platform will be implemented starting in June 2015.

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Prof. Schramm is head of the SFB 841 project B3 “Regulatory T cells and TH17 cells in the pathogenesis and treatment of cholangitis.” Project description, recent publications and contact details can be found here.

The Yael Foundation supports the outpatient clinic for autoimmune liver diseases within the M. Zeitz Center for Rare Diseases at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. The current foundation flyer informs (in German).