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Letter from the Editor

Prof. Richard Dekhuijzen, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
ATS 2017

Dear Reader,


This year’s International Congress of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) was again the place to be to get the most recent update in important areas of pulmonary diseases.

There are increasing data on the effects and safety of biologicals in very severe asthma. Modulators of IL-5 activity show important clinical effects. Also of interest are the new data on the effects of bronchial thermoplasty. The main changes in the GOLD 2017 recommendations for COPD include a new way to categorise patients by splitting level or airflow limitation and levels of complaints and exacerbations. Also, the upcoming data on LABA/LAMA combinations and when they are preferred to LABA/ICS combinations were presented. The addition of home non-invasive ventilation to home oxygen therapy significantly prolonged time to readmission or death for patients with persistent hypercapnia following a life-threatening exacerbation.

Encouraging results of inhaled ciprofloxacin in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis and chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection were presented. Also, an auxiliary benefit of the CFTR regulator ivacaftor in CF was revealed. A study in patients (homozygous for the F508del gene) who have very severe CF, indicates that they too seem to benefit from treatment with lumacaftor/ivacaftor.

Besides the topics indicated above, interesting findings regarding lung cancer and pulmonary hypertension were presented. While you may not have been able to experience these aspects of the ATS yourself, this report outlines the most significant advancements discussed and practical advice disseminated. So, we hope that you will enjoy reading this Conference Report!


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 Radboudumc.

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