The COVID-19 pandemic has a major impact on global health and affects all aspects of professional and social activities. All congresses, international and national, are organised in either a hybrid format (live and via video) or completely online. Obviously, this was also the case for the 2020 ATS and ERS congresses. Nevertheless, the organisers and the speakers were able to present the most recent updates in important areas of pulmonary diseases. We decided to present the most important findings of these major events in a combined issue.
Clearly, pulmonologists are in the frontline of diagnosing and treating patients with COVID-19. Important clinical and research findings were presented. Findings from a retrospective analysis of bronchoscopy results suggest that a bronchoscopy may add diagnostic value in patients with unclear COVID-19 diagnosis. Some COVID-19 patients may develop fibrotic abnormalities. The issue of potential reinfections has been discussed. The importance of structured follow-up has been presented. Worldwide, over a hundred COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently under investigation; some of them already in phase 3 trials. Hopefully approved as of 2021, vaccines may help to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The management of mild asthma underwent some considerable changes in recent years. The GINA guidelines no longer recommend short-acting β2-agonists (SABA) as needed as sole treatment.
Research findings over the years have suggested that the presence of chronic symptoms is not directly associated with the development of airflow limitation. Their course over a patient’s life is rather unstable as they may appear, disappear, and reappear over the years.
The ever-increasing variety of nicotine-containing products that flooded the market in recent years are definitely no “harm reduction products” as propagated by the tobacco industry. On the contrary, the use of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes, often together with cannabis, leads to a toxic cocktail that could be responsible for permanent lung damage and premature death.
First-in-class P2X3 receptor antagonist shows promise for chronic cough treatment. In two phase 3 studies, gefapixant reduced the frequency of cough in patients with refractory or unexplained cough and increased their quality of life.
This report outlines the most significant advancements discussed at both conferences. So, we hope that you will enjoy reading this Conference Report!
Stay healthy and kind regards,
Prof. Richard Dekhuijzen
Prof. P.N. Richard Dekhuijzen 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 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 textbook chapters on respiratory medicine. From 2008-2010, he was Head of the Cardiology Department at Radboudumc. Until 2016, he chaired the Department of Pulmonary Diseases, the Heart-Lung Centre Nijmegen, and the Medical Staff at 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
Conflict of Interest Statement:
In the last 3 years, Richard Dekhuijzen and/or his department received research grants, unrestricted educational grants, and/or fees for lectures and advisory board meetings from AstraZeneca, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Chiesi, GSK, Mundipharma, Novartis, Sandoz, Teva, and Zambon.
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Table of Contents: ERS 2020
Letter from the Editor
ERS 2020 Highlights Podcast
COVID-19 and the Lung
COVID-19 infections: Bronchoscopy provides additional diagnostic certainty
COVID-19 vaccines: An ongoing race
COVID-19: What is the risk of reinfection?
COVID-19 App: The Dutch experience
Secondary pulmonary fibrosis: a possible long-term effect of severe COVID-19
COVID-19 survivors benefit from structured follow-up
Early pulmonary rehabilitation post-COVID-19 aids recovery
Asthma – What's New
Mild asthma: A fundamental change in management
Dupilumab shows long-term efficacy in asthma patients
Severe asthma: Oral corticosteroids maintenance therapy associated with toxicity
First-in-class tyrosine kinase inhibitor shows promise in severe asthma
Predicting individual effectiveness of biologics in severe asthma
IL-5 antagonist showed efficacy in chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps
Treatment according to genotype: The future of asthma therapy?
COPD – The Beat Goes On
The role of chronic symptoms as early biomarkers of COPD development
Urgent call for studies in COPD patients aged 40-60 years
Nasal high-flow therapy: a novel treatment option for hypercapnic COPD patients
Exacerbation history is a reliable predictor of future exacerbations
Singing training effective as physical rehabilitation in COPD
Current prediction tools underestimate exacerbation risk of severe COPD patients
Exercise and Sleep: From Impaired Function to New Therapeutic Strategies
CPAP withdrawal has negative consequences for sleep apnoea patients
Physical activity improves AHI in sleep apnoea patients
The Tobacco Epidemic: From Vaping to Cannabis
Poly-use of nicotine products and cannabis: a deadly combination
E-cigarettes: A source of chronic lung inflammation
Social smoking: Do not underestimate the risks
Chronic Cough – State of the Art
LEAD study shows multiple phenotypes in many chronic cough patients
First-in-class P2X3 receptor antagonist shows promise for chronic cough treatment
Lung Cancer Detection
Lung cancer screening: Most patients not eligible 1-2 years prior to diagnosis
Biomarkers: a novel tool to improve lung nodule classification
Distinct changes in lung microbiome precede clinical diagnosis of lung cancer
Best of Posters
Smartphone-based cough detection helpful in predicting asthma deterioration
Reduced lung function associated with cognitive decline in the elderly
Longer hospital stay and fewer transplants for frail ILD patients
Letter from the Editor