Sunday, April 23, 2017

Pauci-granulocytic stable asthma (Article from Allergy 2017)

Read new article on hot topic paucigranulocytic asthma in comparison with another inflammatory asthma phenotypes! The emergence and increasing availability of validated, feasible non-invasive methods of assessment of inflammation has led to a greater understanding of inflammatory phenotypes in asthma. Two distinct and apparently stable sputum inflammatory phenotypes have been described, eosinophilic and non-eosinophilic, which have a differential treatment response, particularly to glucocorticosteroids. The classification has been further revised:  eosinophilic, neutrophilic, mixed granulocytic (raised eosinophils and neutrophils) and paucigranulocytic (normal levels of eosinophils and neutrophils).


According to induced sputum cell count, four different asthma phenotypes have been recognised(eosinophilic, neutrophilic, mixed and pauci-granulocytic). The aim of the present study was to detect functional and inflammatory characteristics of patients with pauci-granulocytic asthma.


240 asthmatic patients were categorised in the four phenotypes according to cell counts in induced sputum. All patients underwent pulmonary function tests, and measurement of FeNO. The levels of IL-8, IL-13, and ECP were also measured in sputum supernatant. Treatment, asthma control and the presence of Severe Refractory Asthma(SRA) were also recorded.


Patients were categorized in the four phenotypes as follows: eosinophilic (40%), mixed (6.7%), neutrophilic (5.4%) and pauci-granulocytic (47.9%). Although ACT did not differ between groups (p=0.288) patients with pauci-granulocytic asthma had better lung function (FEV1%pred) (median (IQR):71.5(59.0-88.75) vs 69.0(59.0-77.6) vs 68.0(60.0-85.5) vs 80.5(69.7-95.0), p=0.009] for eosinophilic, mixed, neutrophilic and pauci-granulocytic asthma respectively, p=0.009). SRA occurred more frequently in the eosinophilic and mixed phenotype (41.6% and 43.7% respectively) and less frequently in the neutrophilic and pauci-granulocytic phenotype (25% and 21.7% respectively, p=0.01). FeNO, ECP and IL-8 were all low in the pauci-granulocytic, whereas as expected FeNO and ECP were higher in eosinophilic and mixed asthma, while IL-8 was higher in patients with neutrophilic and mixed asthma(p<0.001 for all comparisons). Interestingly, 14.8% of patients with pauci-granulocytic asthma had poor asthma control.


Pauci-granulocytic asthma most likely represents a “benign” asthma phenotype, related to a good response to treatment, rather than a “true” phenotype of asthma. However, pauci-granulocytic patients that remain not-well-controlled despite optimal treatment represent an asthmatic population that requires further study for potential novel targeted interventions.
Direct link to article:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Greetings from Respiratory Decade

Dear Respiratory friends,
We want to wish Happy Easter to you and your families!
We are grateful for your outstanding contribution to Respiratory Decade in the world and your continuing support of Respiratory Decade campaign!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Phenotyping Before Starting Treatment in COPD? (Free full text from Journal of COPD 2017)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous and complex disease with great morbidity and mortality. Despite the new developments in the managements of COPD, it was recognized that not all patients benefit from the available medications. Therefore, efforts to identify subgroups or phenotypes had been made in order to predict who will respond to a class of drugs for COPD.
This review will discuss phenotypes, endotypes, and subgroups such as the frequent exacerbator, the one with systemic inflammation, the fast decliner, ACOS, and the one with co-morbidities and their impact on therapy. It became apparent, that the “inflammatory” phenotypes: frequent exacerbator, chronic bronchitic, and those with a number of co-morbidities need inhaled corticosteroids; in contrast, the emphysematous type with dyspnea and lung hyperinflation, the fast decliner, need dual bronchodilation (deflators). However, larger, well designed studies clustering COPD patients are needed, in order to identify the important subgroups and thus, to lead to personalize management in COPD.

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in COPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease on 7 April 2017, available online:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Triple therapy versus LAMA therapy for COPD - TRINITY study (Lancet 2017 article)


Limited data are available for the efficacy of triple therapy with two long-acting bronchodilators and an inhaled corticosteroid in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We compared treatment with extrafine beclometasone dipropionate, formoterol fumarate, and glycopyrronium bromide (BDP/FF/GB; fixed triple) with tiotropium, and BDP/FF plus tiotropium (open triple).


For this double-blind, parallel-group, randomised, controlled trial, eligible patients had COPD, post-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) of less than 50%, at least one moderate-to-severe COPD exacerbation in the previous 12 months, and a COPD Assessment Test total score of at least 10. After a 2-week run-in period receiving one inhalation per day via single-dose dry-powder inhaler of open-label 18 μg tiotropium, patients were randomised (2:2:1) using a interactive response technology system to 52 weeks treatment with tiotropium, fixed triple, or open triple. Randomisation was stratified by country and severity of airflow limitation. The primary endpoint was moderate-to-severe COPD exacerbation rate. The key secondary endpoint was change from baseline in pre-dose FEV1 at week 52. The trial is registered with, number NCT01911364.


Between Jan 21, 2014, and March 18, 2016, 2691 patients received fixed triple (n=1078), tiotropium (n=1075), or open triple (n=538). Moderate-to-severe exacerbation rates were 0.46 (95% CI 0.41–0.51) for fixed triple, 0.57 (0.52–0.63) for tiotropium, and 0·45 (0.39–0.52) for open triple; fixed triple was superior to tiotropium (rate ratio 0.80 [95% CI 0.69–0.92]; p=0.0025). For week 52 pre-dose FEV1, fixed triple was superior to tiotropium (mean difference 0·061 L [0.037 to 0.086]; p<0·0001) and non-inferior to open triple (−0.003L [–0.033 to 0.027]; p=0.85). Adverse events were reported by 594 (55%) patients with fixed triple, 622 (58%) with tiotropium, and 309 (58%) with open triple.


In our TRINITY study, treatment with extrafine fixed triple therapy had clinical benefits compared with tiotropium in patients with symptomatic COPD, FEV1 of less than 50%, and a history of exacerbations.
Full text is

Saturday, April 1, 2017

News alert: According to the last Pharma R&D 2017 Review, Respiratory Drugs the only group decreasing

Pharma R&D 2017 Review, presented recently new drugs by Therapy Groups. Cancer at the top increasing 20%, Respiratory Drugs the only group decreasing.
It is a huge paradox, in the time when we have the progressive increasing of prevalence and mortality of chronic respiratory diseases!!!

Respiratory diseases are STILL among the leading causes of death worldwide.
Lung infections (mostly pneumonia and tuberculosis), lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) together accounted for 9.5 million deaths worldwide during 2008, one-sixth of the global total. The World Health Organization estimates that the same four diseases accounted for one-tenth of the disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost worldwide in 2008.
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study recently compared the contribution of major diseases to deaths and disability worldwide for 1990 and 2010. Among the leading causes of death, lower respiratory infections were ranked 3rd in 1990 and 4th in 2010, whereas COPD was ranked 4th in 1990 and 3rd in 2010. Lung cancer rose from 8th- to 5th- commonest cause of death, while tuberculosis fell from 6th to 10th position in the ranking.
The GBD Study also presented rankings for years lived with disability, among which asthma ranked 13th worldwide in 1990 and 14th in 2010, while COPD ranked 6th in 1990 and 5th in 2010. When premature deaths and disability were combined as DALYs  lost, lower respiratory infections were ranked the leading cause worldwide in 1990, and the 2nd most important cause of DALYs lost in 2010. Also among the 25 most important causes were COPD (ranked 6th in 1990 and 9th in 2010), tuberculosis (ranked 8th in 1990 and 13th in 2010) and lung cancer (ranked 24th in 1990 and 22nd in 2010).

Friday, March 31, 2017

Management of COPD in Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases (Hot Topic Review from Drugs 2017)

Dear Friends we are happy to present you Review from Drugs Journal on Hot Topic: Management of COPD in Patients with Cardiovascular Diseases by great Italian Respiratory team: Mario Cazzola, Luigino Calzetta, Barbara Rinaldi, Clive Page, Giuseppe Rosano, Paola Rogliani, Maria Gabriella Matera!!!
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular diseases often coexist. The mechanistic links between these two diseases are complex, multifactorial and not entirely understood, but they can influence the therapeutic approach. Therapy can be primarily directed towards treating the respiratory symptoms and reducing lung inflammation. Smoking cessation, bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids are central to this therapeutic approach.
The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms that are responsible for the increased cardiovascular risk in COPD remain unclear, but might include arterial stiffness, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction as a consequence of systemic exposure to chemicals in cigarette smoke or airborne pollution. Therefore, it is plausible that treatment of cardiovascular co-morbidities might reduce morbidity and mortality in patients with COPD and, consequently, therapy of COPD should be shifted to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and systemic inflammation. In support of this approach, early data suggest that patients with COPD treated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers, statins, anti-platelet drugs or β-adrenoceptor blockers may have improved survival and reduced hospitalisation from acute exacerbations of COPD. In this review, the potential impact of traditional therapies for COPD that are centred on treating the lungs and newer strategies potentially able to affect and mitigate cardiovascular risks in patients with COPD are discussed.
Full text is 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

World TB Day 2017 (special Lancet 2017 article)

Global tuberculosis incidence has declined marginally over the past decade, and tuberculosis remains out of control in several parts of the world including Africa and Asia. Although tuberculosis control has been effective in some regions of the world, these gains are threatened by the increasing burden of multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis. XDR tuberculosis has evolved in several tuberculosis-endemic countries to drug-incurable or programmatically incurable tuberculosis (totally drug-resistant tuberculosis).
This poses several challenges similar to those encountered in the pre-chemotherapy era, including the inability to cure tuberculosis, high mortality, and the need for alternative methods to prevent disease transmission. This phenomenon mirrors the worldwide increase in antimicrobial resistance and the emergence of other MDR pathogens, such as malaria, HIV, and Gram-negative bacteria. MDR and XDR tuberculosis are associated with high morbidity and substantial mortality, are a threat to health-care workers, prohibitively expensive to treat, and are therefore a serious public health problem. In this Commission, we examine several aspects of drug-resistant tuberculosis. The traditional view that acquired resistance to antituberculous drugs is driven by poor compliance and programmatic failure is now being questioned, and several lines of evidence suggest that alternative mechanisms—including pharmacokinetic variability, induction of efflux pumps that transport the drug out of cells, and suboptimal drug penetration into tuberculosis lesions—are likely crucial to the pathogenesis of drug-resistant tuberculosis. These factors have implications for the design of new interventions, drug delivery and dosing mechanisms, and public health policy. We discuss epidemiology and transmission dynamics, including new insights into the fundamental biology of transmission, and we review the utility of newer diagnostic tools, including molecular tests and next-generation whole-genome sequencing, and their potential for clinical effectiveness. Relevant research priorities are highlighted, including optimal medical and surgical management, the role of newer and repurposed drugs (including bedaquiline, delamanid, and linezolid), pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic considerations, preventive strategies (such as prophylaxis in MDR and XDR contacts), palliative and patient-orientated care aspects, and medicolegal and ethical issues.