Sepsis is defined as a ‘life-threatening dysregulated host response to infection’, and for years, clinical trials have tried and failed to find immunomodulatory therapies for sepsis to bring homeostasis to the immune system. In fact, not a single immunomodulatory therapy for sepsis has been successfully brought to market despite 40+ years of trials .
A modern understanding of sepsis using new kinds of molecular and clinical data suggests that the sepsis syndrome may actually be composed of several subtypes of patients. Just like how breast cancer is now properly defined as composed of different subtypes (e.g. ER/PR/HER2 status), a sepsis patient may someday be properly defined as suffering from overramped innate immunity, adaptive immune collapse, endothelial dysfunction, etc. And just like different breast cancer survival rates have improved as each subtype finds a specific treatment, so may sepsis outcomes improve when specific therapies are paired with individual subtypes .