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Minerva Pneumologica 2010 June;49(2):109-18

Copyright © 2010 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Cytokine-directed therapy in asthma and COPD

Walsh G. M.

School of Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK


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Current therapies for asthma are aimed at controlling disease symptoms and for the majority of asthmatics inhaled corticosteroid anti-inflammatory therapy is effective. However, this approach requires life-time therapy while a subset of patients remains symptomatic despite optimal treatment creating a clear unmet medical need. Inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) results in airway remodelling, extracellular matrix destruction and fibrosis of the small airways leading to a relentless loss of lung function. In contrast to its beneficial effects on the inflammatory changes in asthma, inhaled corticosteroid therapy is unable to slow the progression of COPD. Asthma- or COPD-relevant cytokines or chemokines have been targeted in a number of ways. These include the use of humanised blocking mAb to their receptors, removal of cytokines or chemokines via their binding to soluble receptors or small molecule receptor antagonists. Another approach is the development of drugs that block receptors or the signal transduction pathways activated following cytokine or chemokine interaction with their receptors. This review will discuss the current status, therapeutic potential and potential problems of these novel drug biologics in asthma and COPD therapy.

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