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Why Study the Fundamentals of Inflammation?

Clinical and epidemiological studies show that common diseases, such as diabetes, certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, pulmonary diseases, and cardiovascular diseases are characterized by an underlying inflammation. Although inflammatory mechanism can be individually studied and put into context in a specific disease, there is still a lack of understanding of how these inflammatory mechanisms interact with one another.

It is therefore not surprising that many clinical trials, designed to target inflammatory processes in specific diseases, have failed or shown insufficient efficiency. Likewise, despite massive investments of resources in the extensive search for biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis, this has so far had limited impact on everyday clinical medicine.

As inflammation lies at the heart of a wide variety of common diseases, a unifying approach is required to produce mechanistic knowledge of inflammation per se - to subsequently be able to properly deal with dynamic and longitudinal aspects of inflammation in diseases.