The vision of GALAXY is to optimize personalized healthcare, by stratifying individuals who would benefit from targeted healthcare efforts versus those who would not, and thus to reduce the economic burden for health care systems and to improve health outcome for the patients.
Alcohol overuse is an important societal challenge with annual healthcare costs of over €22 billion in Europe. Alcohol is the main cause of liver cirrhosis, which is the 5th and 7th most common cause of life years lost in respectively Eastern and Western Europe. Cirrhosis is considered irreversible but its precursor, liver fibrosis, is reversible when detected before disease progression. GALAXY proposes that crosstalk between the gut microbiome and the liver influences the development and progression of alcoholic liver fibrosis. Here, a ‘dysbiotic’ microbiome in susceptible individuals leads to progressive liver fibrosis in combination with alcohol overuse. Therefore, interventions aiming to restore a healthy gut microbiome will reduce disease development.
GALAXY is unique in this perspective that we will achieve a better understanding, deliver novel biomarkers and simultaneously test the clinical impact of altering the microbiome in order to prevent disease progression.