Navigation Links
Study Offers Clues to Why Some Don't Benefit From Asthma Drugs
Date:1/6/2012

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of patients with mild or moderate asthma may have a different type of disease than those with more severe symptoms, perhaps explaining why common treatments don't work well for them, new research suggests.

"We are beginning to understand that different 'flavors' of asthma probably have different molecular mechanisms," said Dr. John Fahy, director of the Airway Clinical Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the senior author of the new study, published online Friday in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Asthma is a chronic disease involving inflamed airways. As the airways become more swollen, the muscles around them can tighten when something triggers symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Current anti-inflammatory treatments target a condition called eosinophilic airway inflammation, which is common in asthma. Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that help fight off infection and play a role in the immune response.

However, the new research finds that nearly half of the 995 patients studied did not have this condition.

Fahy's team repeatedly measured these white blood cells in sputum samples of the volunteers with asthma who were enrolled in nine clinical trials.

Nearly half, or 47 percent, had no airway eosinophilia on any test of their sputum. Some had the condition intermittently and some had it on each test.

The investigators found that only 36 percent of those not taking an inhaled corticosteroid, an anti-inflammatory, had the condition, while 17 percent of those who used the inhaled steroids did.

After two weeks of giving the participants anti-inflammatories and bronchodilator therapy, Fahy found those with the airway eosinophilia responded and had better airflow. But those who didn't have the condition did not respond. The responses to the bronchodilators -- other medicines commonly used for asthma that work by helping to open the bronchial tubes -- were similar in both groups, however.

Previous studies looked at a single sample to assess whether those with asthma had the white blood cell involvement, Fahy explained, while this study looked at many over time.

"This study reinforces the idea that asthma is not a one-type disease," he said.

Even within the nearly 50 percent without the white blood cell involvement, there are probably many different subtypes, Fahy noted.

The test used was a complicated research test, Fahy pointed out, and it is not easily done in clinical practice.

Based on the study results, researchers might next work on a simpler test to determine if those with asthma have involvement of these white blood cells, he said. Eventually, the findings may help doctors better individualize asthma treatment.

The findings suggest that a sizeable group of people with mild to moderate asthma have a type of disease that is not typical, with poorly understood mechanisms, and that new treatments will be needed, Fahy concluded.

"The finding that half of these had the absence of eosinophils in the sputum was a little surprising," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

"It's higher than I thought," Horovitz said. The "cascade" of inflammation in asthma -- what happens to bring on the symptoms -- has been well studied, he noted. However, "we can't guarantee that our current regimen of bronchodilators plus inhaled corticosteroids is going to work, even in mild asthma," Horovitz explained.

Doctors should ask their patients with asthma if they produce a lot of sputum, Horovitz suggested. If they do, they tend to respond to the corticosteroids.

More information

To learn more about asthma, visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

SOURCES: John V. Fahy, M.D., director, Airway Clinical Research Center, University of California, San Francisco; Len Horovitz, M.D., internist and pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Jan. 6, 2012, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Mice Exposed to Smoke Helped by Blood Pressure Drug: Study
2. Global Study Finds Drug Abuse Highest in Richer Nations
3. Diabetes Care Thwarted by Unstable Health Insurance: Study
4. Moderate red wine drinking may help cut womens breast cancer risk, Cedars-Sinai study shows
5. Mental Decline Can Start at 45, Study Finds
6. Study finds statin costs 400 percent higher in US compared to UK
7. Drug Eases Gout Flare-ups in Some Patients: Study
8. Study Reveals Whos More Prone to Be a Mean Drunk
9. Kaiser Permanente study finds continuous health coverage essential for patients managing diabetes
10. Safety-First Playgrounds Linked to Bored, Inactive Kids: Study
11. U-M study shows updated rotavirus vaccine not linked to increase in bowel obstruction
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Study Offers Clues to Why Some Don't Benefit From Asthma Drugs
(Date:4/21/2017)... City, Colo. (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... of the Flex House, the next project in the company’s esteemed VISION House demonstration ... help homeowners use exactly the amount of resources they need to live affordably and ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The Hong Kong Polytechnic University ... printing facility among higher education institutions in Hong Kong to support teaching, learning and ... the range and quantity of facilities in Hong Kong. , With an area ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... ... Alive for Wellness is a group of clinical professionals and ... Alive team uses advanced behavioral sciences treatment modalities to accomplish their goals. ... struggle is based on 10 modalities of treatment that include: , ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... Malvern, Worcestershire, UK (PRWEB) , ... April 21, ... ... Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade, the UK’s most ... performance in international trade, which represents 95% of total revenues and has grown ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... BrightStar Care ... partnered with Advanced Patient Care of Utah (APCUT) and has appointed Rex Wheeler as ... next chapter of growth for our agency and our ability to provide quality care ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... Ind. , April 20, 2017  Zimmer Biomet ... in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced that it will be ... Care Conference at the InterContinental Hotel in ... Zimmer Biomet will present at 11:20 a.m. Eastern Time. ... be accessed via Zimmer Biomet,s Investor Relations website at ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: ... that address significant unmet medical needs, today announced ... Company,s consumer product development program, based on its ... for Investigative Dermatology (SID) 76 th Annual ... promote the sciences relevant to skin health and ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017  CVS Pharmacy, the retail ... a new store design to enhance the retail ... food, health-focused products and expanded beauty selections paired ... customers discover new offerings. Together with its innovative ... of the customer experience at CVS Pharmacy.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: