IDIBELL and the Asthma Functional Unit of the Bellvitge Hospital Pneumology Service (HUB) have participated in a study that compares the response to different biological drugs (monoclonal antibodies) in patients with asthma only and others who have also been diagnosed with COPD, known as ACO overlap syndrome, (Asthma-COPD overlap). In these cases, irreversible airflow obstruction occurs, with clinical symptoms of asthma associated with lung damage from COPD. Asthma is the most prevalent respiratory disease, with an immunological-inflammatory basis that is often predictable and treatable. However, only a small group of patients with asthma, such as those mentioned with OAC, present severe forms of the disease and need immunospecific treatments such as biological drugs.
The multicenter study in real life at the state level has been carried out with patients with severe asthma from a dozen hospitals and its main conclusion is that biological therapy is effective in both cases, “although the response is much more effective in patients with serious asthma”, according to Dr. Mariana Muñoz, coordinator of the Asthma Functional Unit of the Pneumology Service of the HUB and IDIBELL researcher. The effectiveness of the treatments has been evaluated based on the number of exacerbations and hospital admissions, the intake of oral corticosteroids, and daily symptoms during the first 12 months of treatment.
As additional data, Dr. Muñoz highlights the importance of remembering that “the most effective measure in the approach to COPD is primary prevention, the abandonment or abstinence of tobacco and other inhaled smoke, especially in those patients with previous respiratory diseases such as asthma”.
The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) is a biomedical research center created in 2004. It is participated by the Bellvitge University Hospital and the Viladecans Hospital of the Catalan Institute of Health, the Catalan Institute of Oncology, the University of Barcelona and the City Council of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.
IDIBELL is a member of the Campus of International Excellence of the University of Barcelona HUBc and is part of the CERCA institution of the Generalitat de Catalunya. In 2009 it became one of the first five Spanish research centers accredited as a health research institute by the Carlos III Health Institute. In addition, it is part of the “HR Excellence in Research” program of the European Union and is a member of EATRIS and REGIC. Since 2018, IDIBELL has been an Accredited Center of the AECC Scientific Foundation (FCAECC).