UAB joins as founding member of the Global Sarcoidosis Alliance

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas in one or more organs of the body.
Written by: Andy Currie
Media contact: Adam Pope

stream uab joins gsaLeft to right: Kevin G. Dsouza, M.D.; Ishan Lalani, M.D., MPH; Joseph B. Barney, M.D.; Maria del Pilar Acosta Lara, M.D.; Kelli Montz, BSN, RN; Lanier O'Hare, Ph.D.
Photography: Carolyn Walsh
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine’s Multidisciplinary Sarcoidosis Clinic has joined the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research as a founding member in their Global Sarcoidosis Alliance.

This new network of specialty clinics in the United States and globally creates a robust network for patient and clinician education, innovates sharing of information to advance new therapies for treatment of sarcoidosis, and creates collaborative referral networks to connect patients with complex sarcoidosis with specialists familiar with their disease.

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas in one or more organs of the body.

When left unchecked, chronic inflammation caused by granulomas can lead to fibrosis. This disorder affects the lungs in approximately 90 percent of cases, but it can affect almost any organ in the body. Despite increasing advances in research, sarcoidosis remains difficult to diagnose, with limited treatment options and no known cure.

Disease presentation and severity vary widely among patients. In some cases, the disease goes away on its own. In others, the disease may not progress clinically, but individuals will still suffer from some symptoms that challenge their quality of life. The rest of patients — up to a third of people diagnosed with the disease — will require long-term treatment.

It is estimated that the prevalence of sarcoidosis in the United States ranges from 150,000 to 200,000, with an estimated 1.2 million individuals with sarcoidosis worldwide.

The FSR Global Sarcoidosis Clinic Alliance brings together sarcoidosis clinics and hospitals committed to finding a cure and offering evidence-based, patient-centric care for those living with sarcoidosis. Alliance members will benefit from innovative resources, sustainable programming, and tools to accelerate treatment, research and the continuum of patient care.

“We are excited to contribute to this new alliance and push the margin forward in understanding and eventually curing sarcoidosis for thousands of patients in Alabama and worldwide,” said Joseph Barney, M.D., professor in the UAB Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine and director of UAB’s Multidisciplinary Sarcoidosis Clinic.

“We were initially motivated to join the alliance to foster collaboration between other providers from other clinics in the United States,” said Pilar Acosta Lara, M.D., a member of the UAB Multidisciplinary Sarcoidosis Clinic. “Since joining the alliance, we have been fostering working collaborations with other clinics in the U.S. Our patients share the same barriers as those in other alliance clinics — access to care, a support care network geared toward patients and access to clinical trials. This alliance will expand all our efforts to improve the care of sarcoid patients.”