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Letter from The Editor

Prof. Richard Dekhuijzen, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
ERS 2018
This year’s European Respiratory Society (ERS) Congress was, as always, the place to be to get the most recent updates in important areas of pulmonary diseases.

Data on the effects and safety of biological agents in the short and long term are accumulating and may guide to further personalise pharmacological treatment. Modulators of IL-5 and IL-4/IL-13 activity show important effects on exacerbation rates, hospitalisations, and dose of oral corticosteroids. Insights in careful patient selection are increasing.

The main changes in the GOLD 2018 recommendations for COPD have been discussed. The 2017 way to categorise patients by splitting level or airflow limitation and levels of complaints and exacerbations connects better to the daily clinical practice than the previous one. Also, increasing data on LABA/LAMA combinations and when they are preferred to LABA/ICS combinations were presented. Treatment options in lung cancer are increasingly expanding and provide better outcomes for patients. Data on long-term effects are accumulating. The occurrence of sometimes serious adverse events is being more easily recognised. Simultaneously, screening remains an important early stage diagnostic tool. It should be considered in a large number of individuals who may be at high risk of developing cancer. Treatment options in Idiopathic Lung Fibrosis (IPF) are increasing, including combined treatment modalities. Interesting data have been presented.

If you have not been able to experience these aspects of the ERS yourself, this report will outline the most significant advancements discussed at the conference, and practical advice disseminated there. Besides the topics indicated above, interesting findings regarding lung cancer and pulmonary hypertension are also presented. So, we hope that you will enjoy reading this Conference Report!

Kind regards, Prof. Richard Dekhuijzen


Prof. P.N. Richard Dekhuijzen (Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1956) is Professor of Pulmonology at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His specific area of clinical and research interest includes asthma, COPD, and inhalation technology.

He studied medicine at the VU Amsterdam and completed his training in pulmonology at the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis in Amsterdam and in the Academic Hospital Nijmegen. In 1989, he finished his PhD thesis on training of the respiratory muscles in COPD, followed by a PhD thesis on steroid-induced myopathy of the diaphragm in 1994 at the Catholic University Leuven (Belgium).

He is author/co-author of over 330 peer-reviewed papers and many text book chapters on respiratory medicine. Until 2016, he was chair of the Department of Pulmonary Diseases and chair of the Heart-Lung Centre Nijmegen, and he was Head of the Department of Cardiology between 2008-2010. Until 2016, he was chair of the Medical Staff of the Radboudumc. He is the scientific chair of the Aerosol Drug Management Improvement Team (ADMIT) and chair of the Dutch Inhalation Technology Working Group. Currently, he is chair of the Medical Ethical Committee of the Radboudumc.

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