Asthma Research and Practice: Potential of molecular based diagnostics and its impact on allergen immunotherapy

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Friday, 03 June 2016 12:43


The following new article has just been published in Asthma Research and Practice


Potential of molecular based diagnostics and its impact on allergen immunotherapy

Melioli G, Savi E, Crivellaro M, Passalacqua G

Asthma Research and Practice 2016, 2 :9 (2 June 2016)


Molecular based in vitro technologies greatly changed the diagnostic approaches in allergy. At present, sensitization profiles can be dissected according to IgE subsets, which are specific for genuine or cross-reacting components and potentially dangerous or virtually harmless components. The identification of IgE in components with specific characteristics has a direct impact on the accuracy of the diagnosis (indeed, it is possible at present to not only identify the allergen derived from a given allergen source but also the family of molecules to which the patient is sensitized), on the prognosis of the patient’s allergy, and on the prevention activities to be implemented. More interestingly, during the last few years, and thanks to the tools of molecular diagnostics, the indications for Allergen Immunotherapy (AIT) have also be modified, and novel strategies for the selection of the allergens to be administered have been better defined. Indeed, protocols indicating how Molecular Based Diagnosis (MBD) can be used to identify the best AIT approach have been recently published. In this review, the rationale for the use of MBD tools is discussed, and the recent strategies for the choice of allergens to be used in AIT are reported.

 Full Text | PDF

May 2nd is Now "Bronchial Thermoplasty Awareness Day" in Pennsylvania

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Friday, 13 May 2016 22:21

 Asthma is a disease that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheeze, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and cough. Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease, affecting up to 10% of adults and 30% of children. Bronchial Thermoplasty (BT) is one of the treatment options for severe asthma - see below:

Asthma Treatment Options in 6 Steps (click to enlarge the image).

May 2nd is Now "Bronchial Thermoplasty Awareness Day" in Pennsylvania. From the manufacturer's YouTube channel: Bronchial Thermoplasty Day in Pennsylvania

Here is how the procedure looks like, again from the manufacturer's channel:


International respiratory societies call for collaboration on asthma

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Friday, 06 May 2016 20:55

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is calling for improved collaboration and funding to prevent and treat asthma.

In advance of World Asthma Day on May 3, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies issues a call to arms.

In World Asthma Day on May 3, FIRS says stakeholders must collaborate locally and globally to ensure adequate funding and resources are available to implement effective preventative and therapeutic strategies.

FIRS brings together the world’s leading international respiratory societies to work together to improve lung health globally. Members include the European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), the American Thoracic Society (ATS), and the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST). The goal of the Forum is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its 70,000+ members globally.

According to the Global Asthma Report 2014, up to 334 million people worldwide have asthma. Approximately 4.5% of young adults have been diagnosed with asthma and/or are taking asthma medication. An estimated 14% of children have had asthma symptoms in the past year.

In a statement issued by the ATS, FIRS says leaders in respiratory health must unite globally to invest in community-led solutions to improve quality of life, and reduce morbidity and mortality in asthma. It is calling on countries and organisations to invest and take necessary actions to encourage people-centred prevention, treatment and care to ensure that every person with asthma has access to high-value care.

World Asthma Day is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. The theme for this year’s event is ‘You can control your asthma’ and it will be held on May 3.

The following new article has just been published in Asthma Research and Practice

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Thursday, 05 May 2016 13:04


A qualitative evaluation of the implementation of guidelines and a support tool for asthma management in primary care

Watkins K, Fisher C, Misaghian J, Schneider C, Clifford R

Asthma Research and Practice 2016, 2 :8 (4 May 2016)

Abstract | Full Text | PDF

Featured: Sickle cell disease: wheeze or asthma?

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Monday, 18 April 2016 20:10

Child maltreatment and pediatric asthma: a review of the literature

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Tuesday, 12 April 2016 12:37

Hannah M. C. Schreier, Edith Chen and Gregory E. Miller



Child maltreatment is a common problem with known adverse consequences, yet its contributions to the development and course of pediatric asthma are only poorly understood.


This review first describes possible pathways connecting child maltreatment to pediatric asthma, including aspects of the physical home environment, health behaviors and disease management, and psychological consequences of child maltreatment. We subsequently review existing studies, which generally report an association between maltreatment experiences and asthma outcomes in childhood. However, this literature is in its early stages; there are only a handful studies, most of them rely on self-reports of both child maltreatment and asthma history, and none have investigated the physiological underpinnings of this association. Taken together, however, the studies are suggestive of child maltreatment playing a role in pediatric asthma incidence and expression that should be explored further.


Existing data are sparse and do not allow for specific conclusions. However, the data are suggestive of child maltreatment influencing asthma risk and morbidity long before the adult years. Future research should focus on understanding how child maltreatment contributes to asthma disease risk and progression in this highly vulnerable population.

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CXC chemokine superfamily induced by Interferon-γ in asthma: a cross-sectional observational study

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Friday, 18 March 2016 12:49





Article alert


The following new article has just been published in Asthma Research and Practice


CXC chemokine superfamily induced by Interferon-γ in asthma: a cross-sectional observational study

Takaku Y, Soma T, Uchida Y, Kobayashi T, Nakagome K, Nagata M

Asthma Research and Practice 2016, 2 :6 (17 March 2016)

Abstract | Full Text | PDF



Treatment of asthma in young children: evidence-based recommendations

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Friday, 04 March 2016 15:57
Jose A. Castro-Rodriguez Email authorAdnan Custovic and Francine M. Ducharme


In the present review, we focus on evidence-based data for the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS), leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA), long-acting beta2-agonits (LABA) and oral corticosteroids (OCS), with a special emphasis on well-performed randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses of such trials for the chronic management of asthma/wheeze in infants and preschoolers. Results: Seven meta-analyses and 14 RCTs were reviewed. Daily ICS should be the preferred drug for infants/preschoolers with recurrent wheezing, especially in asthmatics. For those with moderate or severe episodes of EVW, the use of high intermittent ICS doses significantly reduce the use of OCS. There is no evidence of effect of intermittent ICS at low-moderate dose in preschoolers with mild EVW episodes. In preschoolers with asthma, there were no significant differences between daily vs. intermittent ICS in terms of asthma exacerbations with insufficient power to conclude to equivalence; however, for other asthma control outcomes, daily ICS works significantly better than intermittent ICS for older children. Daily ICS is superior to daily or intermittent LRTA for reducing symptoms, preventing exacerbations, and improving lung function. No RCTs testing combination therapy with ICS and LABA (or LTRA) were published in infant/preschoolers. Parent-initiation of OCS at the first sign of symptoms is not effective in children with recurrent wheezing episode. In terms of ICS safety, growth suppression is dose and molecule-dependent but it’s effect is not cumulative beyond the first year of therapy and may be associated with some catch-up growth while on or off therapy. Linear growth must be monitored as individual susceptibility to ICS drugs may vary considerably.

Join WAO at Interasma for the COSA Symposium

Juan Carlos Ivancevich Wednesday, 02 March 2016 13:32

Join WAO at Interasma for the COSA Symposium: Approaches to Severe Asthma. WAO experts will present on severe asthma during Interasma’s World Congress on Asthma (WCA) in Madrid, Spain, on 14 March 2016 from 16:30 to 18:00.

Prof Lanny Rosenwasser will speak on “Cytokine Families and Receptors as Treatment Targets in Severe Asthma”. Prof Ignacio Ansotegui will speak on “Small Airways in Asthma”, and Prof Mario Sánchez-Borges will speak on “Acute Asthma Induced by Mite-Contaminated Foods.”

Upcoming Symposia


World Allergy Organization COSA Symposium: Approaches to Severe Asthma
Monday, 14 March 2016
16:30 to 18:00

G Walter Canonica, University of Genoa
Sergio Bonini, Second University of Naples

Cytokine Families and Receptors as Treatment Targets in Severe Asthma
Lanny Rosenwasser, Children’s Mercy Hospital

Small Airways in Asthma
Ignacio Ansotegui, Hospital Quirón Bizkaia

Acute Asthma Induced by Mite-Contamined Foods
Mario Sanchez-Borges, Centro Médico Docente – La Trinidad


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Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

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