What is frailomic?

FRAILOMIC is an international initiative that aims to identify the markers, or biomarkers, of the processes that turn frailty into disability. The main objective of the study is to develop clinical instruments that can predict the risk of frailty, improve the diagnostic accuracy of frailty in day-to-day practice and assess prognosis in terms of disability and adverse outcomes (in particular hospitalization and loss of autonomy).

The FRAILOMIC consortium comprises seven small- and medium-sized enterprises, six universities, two leading research centers, four hospital-based research groups and the World Health Organization. The initiative brings together 20 institutions from nine countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States) and is led by Professor Leocadio Rodríguez Mañas of the Hospital Universitario de Getafe, Madrid, Spain.

How will the aim of frailomic be achieved?

The study comprises two main phases, Phase 1 (or the Exploratory phase) and Phase 2 (or the Validation phase).

Phase 1 – Exploratory phase

Exploratory studies will be performed using blood and urine samples collected from approximately 75,000 older people. These samples are currently stored in bio-banks and were collected from well-established, well-characterized cohorts. Laboratory biomarkers will be identified. These findings will be combined with information on clinical biomarkers obtained from the same cohort in order to identify the biomarkers that predict the risk of frailty (risk biomarkers), detect frailty (diagnostic biomarkers) and assess the progression of frailty (prognostic biomarkers).

During this phase, some sub-studies will be performed in discrete populations, particularly older individuals with risk factors that make them more susceptible to develop frailty such as cardiovascular disease.

Phase 2 – Validation phase

The predictive capacity, diagnostic accuracy and prognostic value of each biomarker identified in Phase 1 will be tested in Phase 2. This testing will be performed prospectively and in cohorts different to those used in Phase 1. The main aim is to generate statistical models that will incorporate both laboratory and clinical biomarkers. The best fit models will be selected after testing the validity of the risk, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in the cohorts participating in Phase 2. These models will aid in the development of ready-to-use kits to be used in the clinic. These kits will help clinicians to identify those individuals at the highest risk of developing frailty, to make a diagnosis and to assess how frailty will progress.

Download a presentation on the FRAILOMIC initiative