WSPHA and precision medicine studies for the treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension – An interview with Prof. Adam Torbicki, Head of the Department of Pulmonary Circulation and Thromboembolic Diseases at the European Health Center Otwock in Poland and member of the WSPHA Scientific Board

Professor Torbicki, please introduce yourself.

My name is Adam Torbicki I’m from Poland, I’m a cardiologist, I am 66 years old but young otherwise.

When and why did your interest in Pulmonary Hypertension first arise?

All started when I was still a student because we were faced with a lot of patients with acute pulmonary embolism so acute Pulmonary Hypertension which were dying without the correct diagnosis so it started with acute cases but then I realized that there are also many patients with chronic Pulmonary Hypertension of different types and they require diagnosis and management and this went on from this pulmonary embolism story.

When I was young I was attracted by echocardiography and I was trying to find the way to diagnose non-invasively Pulmonary Hypertension with this method and when I was performing my research I was also contacted by a small group of experts from the World Heart Organization Task Force which was focused on non-invasive diagnosis of Pulmonary Hypertension lung disease. This was a very strong group and I’ve learned a lot about Pulmonary Hypertension from them and they learned a little bit about the echocardiography in PH from me.

What do you believe is the most important goal of the WSPH Association?

The new Association which is based on our previous experience from the World Symposia on Pulmonary Hypertension in fact this kind of development of this idea and trying to move towards more continuous work because we were working every four to five years on the new documents. Now we hope to be interactive through all these years which separate the congresses and we may be planning some research ourselves, maybe focusing on new areas which we think might be interesting in the future in order to move the whole field forward and help our patients better.

Where do you foresee the best improvements for the treatment of this disease in the future?

I’m a believer in precision medicine, we are now using quite simple tools, I would say somewhat similar to medieval tools and we have a great potential in studying what is really happening in human organism by for example evaluating metabolomics reply to normal functioning of all the organs. This can be done by studying breasts, the content of human breast or blood or urine, but in a more much more sophisticated way that is done and now so we will be trying to find patterns of small changes rather than big changes of single biomarkers. I think that this might be useful boosting diagnosis, differential diagnosis and also assessment of prognosis and of the effects of treatment. So I think precision medicine, personalized medicine will also be very important for Pulmonary Hypertension.