Respiratory News

The FDA approved 39 new drugs in 2012 – the most in 16 years. There were eight approvals in December alone, including a new treatment from Johnson & Johnson called Sirturo for drug-resistant tuberculosis, the first new TB drug in decades.

A new machine may increase the transplant pool and keep the lung healthier during transportation. This machine, called the Organ Care System, is being tested simultaneously in the United States, Australia, Canada and in several European countries.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) has been shown to be an effective intervention for patients who are both stable and in an acute phase of illness. While pulmonary rehabilitation has been shown to reduce healthcare utilization, it can also reduce the risk for further COPD exacerbations (flare-ups). Find a program in your area or start your own program of exercise and activities.

Scientists from Australia have identified a new mutation in the gene that causes Alpha-1 Antitryp- sin Deficiency Emphysema (Alpha-1) which poten- tially could lead to new drug development and better diagnostic tools. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin is a protein made in the liver, then secreted into the blood. It helps keep the lungs healthy by blocking an enzyme that causes tissue breakdown. In the disease, the Alpha-1 Antitrypsin protein accumulates in the liver, rather than being secreted into the blood which leads to tissue break- down in the lungs. The research is still in a very early stage.

A multicenter, international study based in Austria confirms previous evidence that people who never smoked comprise a substantial proportion of individu- als with COPD. The data suggested that, in addition to increased age, a prior diagnosis of asthma and, among women, lower education levels are associated with an in- creased risk for COPD among those who never smoked.