Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC): Immunologic Approaches to Reduce Asthma

Investigator: Homer Boushey, MD
Sponsor: University of Wisconsin System

Location(s): United States


Inner-city Asthma Consortium (ICAC): Phase I (2002 – 2009) and Phase II (2009 – 2014)

The goals of ICAC are to design and implement immune-based therapies for asthma and to conduct studies to define the disease in inner-city children.

ICAC investigators are currently conducting several projects focused on improving asthma treatment, including the following:

  • An observational study to examine the genetic, environmental, and immune system  aspects that play a role in the development of asthma in inner-city children by closely following a cohort of more than 500 children from before birth until age 7
  • An exploration of the use of cockroach extract administered orally under the tongue—called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)—as a potential treatment for asthma
  • A study to examine whether children with asthma have epigenetic differences from children with no asthma or allergies
  • A follow-on clinical trial (based on the results of the ICATA trial) using omalizumab during the fall to examine if this will eliminate the seasonal increase in asthma exacerbations
    Participating ICAC II sites

    ICAC is composed of 9 clinical and 2 basic research sites under the leadership of William Busse, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
    The nine clinical sites and principal investigators include:

    • Boston University School of Medicine—George O’Connor, M.D.
    • Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati—Gurjit Khurana Hershey, M.D., Ph.D.
    • Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago—Jacqueline Pongracic, M.D.
    • Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City—Meyer Kattan, M.D.
    • George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC—Stephen Teach, M.D., M.P.H.
    • Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit—Edward Zoratti, M.D.
    • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore—Robert Wood, M.D.
    • National Jewish Health, Denver—Andrew Liu, M.D.
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas—Rebecca Gruchalla, M.D., Ph.D.

    The two basic research sites and principal investigators include:

    • University of California, San Francisco—Homer Boushey, M.D.
    • University of Colorado, Denver—David Schwartz, M.D.

    Rho, Inc. in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, led by Herman Mitchell, Ph.D., is the statistical and data coordinating center that supports the efforts of the ICAC program.