FPM monthly webinars provide updates for clinical trainees, senior clinicians, policy makers, academics and other health professionals on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of common and serious clinical disorders – both for communicable and non-communicable diseases.
Webinars are free and hosted on Zoom from 4pm UK time on the 4th Monday of each month.
Date: Monday 29th June 4pm UK time
Title: Advances in Treating Asthma
~20 minutes talk with screen-shared slides followed by discussion. The webinar will be recorded and then available on the FPM website.
Speaker: Professor Peter Barnes FRS, Margaret Turner-Warwick Professor of Medicine Airway Disease Section, National Heart & Lung Institute, London
Chair: Donald Singer, President, Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, London
A hundred years ago the main treatments for obstructive lung disease were adrenal gland extracts, herbally-derived sympathomimetic ephedrine and anticholinergics, such as atropine.
There have been extraordinary advances in the pharmacological therapy of asthma and COPD, yet the major classes of therapy we use today are based on these original therapies – long-acting β2-agonists (LABA) derived from adrenaline and muscarinic receptor antagonists (LAMA) and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) developed from the adrenal cortex hormone cortisol.
Triple fixed-dose inhalers containing all 3 drugs have now been developed and are convenient for some patients. In asthma, by far the greatest advance has been the introduction of ICS for control of the underlying eosinophilic inflammation of the airways.
Although ICS are effective in most patients, there is often very poor adherence as symptoms are intermittent. In a new strategy, instead of a short-acting β2-agonist, such as salbutamol, patients use a reliever inhaler containing a rapidly-acting LABA formoterol combined with an ICS. This provides much better control of asthma and is a simple strategy for most patients. At the other end of the spectrum, patients with eosinophilic severe asthma not controlled on conventional therapies may now be controlled with biologics, which include antibodies against immunoglobulin-E, interleukin-5 and interleukin-4 receptor.