Welcome to the latest edition of touchREVIEWS in Respiratory & Pulmonary Diseases, which covers several hot topics in respiratory medicine, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease, bronchiectasis and the ever-present subject of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The articles and expert opinions in this journal reflect the progress and challenges in this active area of clinical research.
We begin with an expert interview in which Paula Skarda describes the mechanism of action of sabizabulin, a novel oral microtubule disruptor, and the recently published results of a phase III study investigating its use in hospitalized adults with COVID-19. Next, Simon Bowler provides a commentary on bronchiectasis, a condition that is associated with high morbidity and mortality, but for which brensocatib, a small-molecule reversible inhibitor of the lysosomal cysteine proteinase dipeptidyl peptidase 1 appears to be a promising therapeutic option.
The advent of biologic eosinophil-targeted therapies has transformed the management of eosinophilic asthma; however, they are expensive. In an editorial, Fei Li Kuang describes the clinical development of dexpramipexole, an enantiomer of the dopamine agonist pramipexole, which may offer a non-biologic treatment option for this common condition.
Janus Kinase inhibitors have become increasingly popular in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Clive Kelly provides a compelling argument for exploring their potential in the management of rheumatoid arthritis-related interstitial lung disease. Despite many treatment advances, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death. However, mortality can be greatly reduced by early diagnosis and treatment. Naaman and Kapp provide an introduction to robotic-assisted bronchoscopy, a novel technology that is proving an exciting new diagnostic tool.
The first of our review articles returned to the subject of asthma. St-Germain et al. introduce the concept of ‘people remodelling’ to represent the devastating impact of severe asthma and corticosteroid treatments on people’s lives. They also propose an effective corticosteroid-weaning protocol involving mepolizumab, benralizumab and dupilumab. Many challenges persist in the treatment of COPD. Cazzola, Page and Matera review the clinical development of ensifentrine, a first-in-class bifunctional drug targeting phosphodiesterase 3/4 that has demonstrated both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory activities.
We conclude this issue with a review article in which Carolyn D’Ambrosio discusses the challenges in screening, diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea during pregnancy and highlights areas for improvement.
The editors of touchREVIEWS in Respiratory & Pulmonary Diseases, would like to thank all expert authors who contributed towards this edition. We are grateful to our editorial board for their guidance. Thanks also go to all organizations and media partners for their on-going support. We hope that you will find these articles thought-provoking and useful.
Mario Cazzola is Honorary Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, Rome, Italy. He founded Therapeutic Advances in Respiratory Diseases and served as the Editor-in-Chief for Pulmonary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and for COPD – Research and Practice. He is Deputy Editor for Respiratory Medicine, Section Editor for Frontiers in Drug Safety and Regulation, and an Associate Editor for Respiratory Research, Current Research in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery, Clinical Investigation, and The Open Respiratory Medicine Journal, and an Editor for British Journal of Pharmacology. He is the author or co-author of almost 754 scientific papers. His H-index is 74. According to Expertscape (November 2022), he is the top-rated expert in COPD, obstructive lung diseases and bronchodilator agents worldwide. He was the Chairman of the Airway Pharmacology and Treatment Group and Co-chairman of the ERS/ATS Task Force “Outcomes for COPD pharmacological trials: from lung function to biomarkers”. He has received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the same scientific society. He was a member of the steering committee of the Airway Disorders Network and served as Governor of the Italian Chapter at the American College Chest Physicians.
He is the Chairman of the Southern Europe Chapter at Interasma, and the Chair of the Med COPD Forum. His research has mainly been focused on the pharmacology of airway diseases, particularly the use of bronchodilators and obstructive lung diseases.