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Press Releases


September 12, 2009

European Lung Foundation Award 2009
Climate change control benefits lung health

The European Lung Foundation presented its 2009 award to Mr. Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society.

Vienna 2009 awards


September 13, 2009

Difficult-to-control-asthma
Antibody effective in real-life setting


For patients with severe asthma, the monoclonal antibody omalizumab is an effective add-on therapeutic option according to a study presented at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society. The antibody inhibits the binding of the IgE to its receptor and decreases the allergic reaction.


Targeted anti-cancer treatment
Mesenchymal stem cells make tumours shrink


British scientists have engineered adult stem cells that can specifically seek out cancers throughout the body and deliver TRAIL, an anti-cancer agent that kills malignant cells but leaves normal cells unharmed. TRAIL is expressed on cells of the immune system; its physiological role is thought to be the destruction of damaged or malignant cells.

Asthma therapy
Are long-acting bronchodilators as safe as short-acting Beta-2-Agonists?

The risks of death and hospitalization due to status asthmaticus are similar in asthma patients receiving long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) therapy and those receiving short-acting β-agonists or inhaled corticosteroid therapy, said Frank de Vries, PhD, PharmD, General Practice Research Database, Medicines and HealthCare Products Regulatory Agency, London, UK, during his presentation at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society.

Asthma therapy
An SMS a day keeps the doctor away


Asthmatic patients who receive a daily SMS reminder on their cell phone, take, on average, about 18% more doses of their anti-asthmatic medication than asthmatic patients who do not receive an SMS reminder. "This is a simple means to improve compliance and reduce medical consultations," concludes Ulla Strandbygaard, Respiratory and Allergy Research Unit, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen.

Smoking cessation aid
Can lung patients kick the habit?


Varenicline is a novel oral drug that helps smokers quit their addiction. It binds to nicotinic receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). By its partial agonist mechanism of action on dopaminergic receptors, it leads to a dopamine release and thereby eases withdrawal symptoms. At the same time, it blocks nicotinic receptors, preventing any reward sensation.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Novel anti-inflammatory agent reduces exacerbations


An oral, once-daily anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits the enzyme phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) improves lung function and reduces exacerbations in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Quick test spots TB
Immunodiagnosis allows for faster diagnosis of TB


A rapid, molecular-based diagnostic test helps to diagnose active tuberculosis in cases when the direct detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis fails. The immune-based test, applied on cells obtained during bronchoalveolar lavage, allows for a faster initiation of anti-TB treatment, says Claudia Jafari, MD, Clinical Infectious Diseases Research Center, Borstel, Germany, at her oral presentation at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society.

Novel therapy for asthma
Minimally invasive procedure heats up your lungs


Asthma control continues to be a therapeutic challenge, particularly in patients with severe disease.
In future, patients with difficult-to-control asthma may opt for a new minimally invasive procedure called bronchial thermoplasty, which applies controlled radiofrequency-generated heat to bronchial muscles, suggests a study presented at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Rspiratory Society.

Survival aid for injured lung cells
Mechanism perpetuating cell suicide is unveiled


Angiotensin II is not only a key player in the cardiovascular system but also seems to be an important mediator of alveolar cell suicide (apoptosis), a pivotal event in the pathogenesis of lung diseases such as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis or Acute Lung Injury.


September 14, 2009

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Proton pump inhibitor reduces risk of exacerbations


Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a class of drugs used in the treatment of gastroduodenal ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease, may also be of benefit to patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), suggests a Japanese study presented at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Eight questions reveal disease impact


A new measure of the patient's perceived severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) comes in a simple questionnaire, presented as a late-breaking abstract at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society. The results are published simultaneously in the European Respiratory Journal's September issue.


Asbestos-related cancer
Screening tool for at risk individuals in sight?


A new serum marker seems promising in the early detection of malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer form related to asbestos exposure, explains Kevin Hollevoet, Bio Eng, in his presentation at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society.


Late-breaking news
Hand washing foam protects from H1N1-Influenza virus for up to three hours


A new hand foam provides long-lasting protection against cold and flu germs, including H1N1 and other Influenza A type viruses, suggests a late-breaking poster presented at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society.


Childhood asthma
Smoking mothers and low birth weight increase asthma risk by factor 6


According to a Swedish study presented at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society, being exposed to smoking during fetal development and having a low birth weight increases the risk of developing asthma in childhood by four to six times. Moreover, these two parameters contribute synergistically to asthma in childhood, said Anders Bjerg.


Obstructive sleep apnea
New serum marker of disease severity?


Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition characterized by multiple breathing pauses during sleep, resulting in intermittent deficiency in the oxygen supply to the brain as well as a non-restorative sleep. Clinically, patients (or their partners) complain of marked snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. Recently, the disorder has been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and the development of diabetes. Patients suffering from episodes of obstructive sleep apnea are not merely getting too little quality sleep: the intermittent lack of oxygen triggers a chain of biochemical events that puts them at risk for cardiovascular disease and also interferes with their glucose metabolism.


September 15, 2009

Prostaglandin receptor antagonist holds promise for asthma management

A novel pharmacological approach to treating asthma and other allergic conditions may lie in the blockade of a prostaglandin receptor, suggests a late-breaking study presented at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society.


Bronchial Asthma:
New viruses make children wheeze


The majority of children suffering asthma attacks are infected with a new group of viruses, rhinovirus group C, suggests an Australian study presented at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society. Moreover, asthma attacks in children infected with the new subtype (HRVC) of the virus that causes common colds were associated with more severe clinical disease.


Bronchial Asthma:
Lung function varies with menstruation cycle


Some women may experience worsening of their asthma just before their menstrual period, suggests a Swiss study presented at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Can we toss the antibiotic?

Use of antibiotics to treat exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases is very common in clinical practice. Traditionally it was thought that infections triggering exacerbations were bacterial in nature, but more and more studies say otherwise. Every second acute exacerbation may be due to viral pathogens, report doctors from Switzerland at the 19th Annual Congress of the European Respiratory Society. For these patients, antibiotic treatment is not only unnecessary, but may be harmful.

 

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