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      Biomarkers in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: confusing or useful?

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          Abstract

          The field of biomarker research has almost reached unmanageable proportions in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The developments of new technology platforms have generated a huge information data base, both cross sectionally and increasingly, longitudinally. The knowledge emerging provides an enormous potential for understanding the disease pathophysiology, for developing markers specific for long-term outcomes, and for developing new therapeutic strategies. However, the excitement must be tempered with an understanding of the limitations of the data collection techniques, and of the variations in disease state, activity, impact, and progression. Nevertheless, the most crucial aspect in interpreting the current literature is the recognition of the relatively superficial characterization of what is a complex group of pathological processes with a common end point of airflow limitation. The current review explores some of these issues together with those areas where real progress appears to have been made, and provides caution on interpretation.

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          Most cited references 93

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          Oxidative stress in COPD.

          Oxidative stress is now recognized as a major predisposing factor in the pathogenesis of COPD. Existing therapies for COPD are ineffective at halting disease progression, with bronchodilators being the mainstay of pharmacotherapy, providing symptomatic relief only. It is, therefore, important for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which oxidative stress drives disease pathogenesis to develop novel and more effective therapies. Antioxidant capacity in COPD is substantially reduced as a result of cigarette smoking and exacerbations, with oxidative stress persisting long after the cessation of cigarette smoking or exacerbation, due to the continued production of reactive oxygen species from endogenous sources. We discuss (1) how oxidative stress arises in the lung, (2) how it is neutralized, (3) what genetic factors may predispose to the development of COPD, and (4) how this impacts inflammation and autoimmunity in the development of emphysema and small airways disease. Finally, various strategies have been considered to neutralize the increased oxidative burden present in COPD. This review highlights why current antioxidant strategies have so far failed and what promising alternatives are on the horizon. Moreover, a number of studies have shown that there is no single "magic bullet" to combat oxidative stress, but instead a combination therapy, targeting oxidative stress in the various subcellular compartments, may prove to be more effective in COPD.
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            Maintenance therapy with budesonide and formoterol in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

            Lung function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can be improved acutely by oral corticosteroids and bronchodilators. Whether clinical improvement can be maintained by subsequent inhaled therapy is unknown. COPD patients (n=1,022, mean prebronchodilator forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 36% predicted) initially received formoterol (9 microg b.i.d.) and oral prednisolone (30 mg o.d.) for 2 weeks. After this time, patients were randomised to b.i.d. inhaled budesonide/formoterol 320/9 microg, budesonide 400 microg, formoterol 9 microg or placebo for 12 months. Postmedication FEV1 improved by 0.21 L and health-related quality of life using the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ) by 4.5 units after run-in. Fewer patients receiving budesonide/formoterol withdrew from the study than those receiving budesonide, formoterol or placebo. Budesonide/formoterol patients had a prolonged time to first exacerbation (254 versus 96 days) and maintained higher FEV1 (99% versus 87% of baseline), both primary variables versus placebo. They had fewer exacerbations (1.38 versus 1.80 exacerbations per patient per year), had higher prebronchodilator peak expiratory flow, and showed clinically relevant improvements in SGRQ versus placebo (-7.5 units). Budesonide/formoterol was more effective than either monocomponent in both primary variables. Budesonide/formoterol in a single inhaler (Symbicort) maintains the benefit of treatment optimisation, stabilising lung function and delaying exacerbations more effectively than either component drug alone or placebo.
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              CT-based Biomarker Provides Unique Signature for Diagnosis of COPD Phenotypes and Disease Progression

              Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is increasingly being recognized as a highly heterogeneous disorder, composed of varying pathobiology. Accurate detection of COPD subtypes by image biomarkers are urgently needed to enable individualized treatment thus improving patient outcome. We adapted the Parametric Response Map (PRM), a voxel-wise image analysis technique, for assessing COPD phenotype. We analyzed whole lung CT scans of 194 COPD individuals acquired at inspiration and expiration from the COPDGene Study. PRM identified the extent of functional small airways disease (fSAD) and emphysema as well as provided CT-based evidence that supports the concept that fSAD precedes emphysema with increasing COPD severity. PRM is a versatile imaging biomarker capable of diagnosing disease extent and phenotype, while providing detailed spatial information of disease distribution and location. PRMs ability to differentiate between specific COPD phenotypes will allow for more accurate diagnosis of individual patients complementing standard clinical techniques.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9106
                1178-2005
                2014
                07 February 2014
                : 9
                : 163-177
                Affiliations
                Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Lung Function and Sleep Department, Birmingham, UK
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Robert A Stockley, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Lung Function and Sleep Department, Mindelsohn Way, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2WB, UK, Tel +44 121 371 3885, Fax +44 121 371 3887, Email rob.stockley@ 123456uhb.nhs.uk
                Article
                copd-9-163
                10.2147/COPD.S42362
                3923613
                © 2014 Stockley. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Respiratory medicine

                technology platforms, secretions, inflammation, emphysema

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