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WAO News & Notes

March Medical Journal Review
WAO Member Society Spotlight
WAO Now: What's New in the World of WAO
And In Other News . . .

March World Medical Journal Review

Prof. Richard F. Lockey, MD, WAO Web Editor-in-Chief, reviewed premier March medical journal articles for practicing allergists. Read his top 3 picks below and for the other 11 reviews, click here.

1. CD4+ INVARIANT T-CELL-RECEPTOR+ NATURAL KILLER T CELLS IN BRONCHIAL ASTHMA
Invariant natural killer T cells in humans are CD4+ with Va24-Ja18 receptors. They respond to glycolipid rather than peptide antigens. On activation they produce large quantities of interferon-? and IL-4. The authors found that 60% of pulmonary CD4+CD3+ cells in patients with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma were natural killer T cells, which expressed an invariant T-cell receptor and produced type 2 helper cytokines. Controls (normal and patients with sarcoidosis) had conventional CD4+CD3+ T cells, not natural killer T cells. Editor's comment: These findings call into question is it the Th2 T cell or the natural killer T cell that is involved in the pathogenesis of asthma? Akbari O, et al. N Engl J Med 2006; 354: 1117. Kay AB, Editorial: 1186.

2. -ADRENERGIC RECEPTOR POLYMORPHISMS AND RESPONSE TO SALMETEROL
This study investigated whether genotype-specific effects occur when patients with asthma are treated with long-acting -agonists and whether such effects are modified by concurrent inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) use. In two separate cohorts, the subjects were randomized to regular therapy with salmeterol while simultaneously discontinuing ICS therapy and in the second, randomized to regular therapy with salmeterol while continuing concomitant ICS. B16Arg/Arg compared to B16Gly/Gly subjects were found to have an impaired therapeutic response to salmeterol with or without concurrent ICS. Editor's comment: B16Arg/Arg subjects (approximately 1/6 of Caucasians and 1/5 of African Americans) may benefit from alternative asthma treatment strategies. Wechsler ME, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2006; 173: 519. Tattersfield AE, Harrison TW, Editorial: 473.

3. THEOPHYLLINE AND CETIRIZINE IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC IDIOPATHIC URTICARIA (CIU)
This 6-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel study of 134 (105 completed study) CIU subjects found that cetirizine plus theophylline (200 mg twice daily) was superior to cetirizine and placebo. Results, as measured by a visual analog scale and treatment effectiveness score, were statistically significant at certain points throughout the study. The authors conclude that theophylline was well tolerated and provided considerable additional benefit in the management of CIU. Editor's comment: We need all the help we can get with CIU. Theophylline for CIU? Kalogeromitros D, et al. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2006; 139: 258.

To read the additional reviews, click here.


WAO Member Society Spotlight The Polish Society of Allergology

Polish Society of Allergology (Polskie Towarzystwo Alergologiczne PTA) is a non-profit organization devoted to the promotion of basic and clinical research, encouragement of training and continuous education in allergy and clinical immunology, and promotion of allergology as a public health care problem. The PTA was founded in 1983 as a natural consequence of the steadily growing number of allergists gathered in the Allergy Interest Section of the Polish Medical Society. The Allergy Section within the Polish Medical Society was formed in 1964. It was mainly linked to internal medicine but subsequently spread to pediatrics, pulmonary medicine, laryngology and dermatology. The active engagement of the Allergy Interest Section of the Polish Medical Society resulted in allergy being established as an independent medical sub-speciality in Poland. In 1973, the first allergy examination was passed, and allergy specialization was awarded. The first academic allergy centers were founded in 1970 in Krakow headed by Prof. A. Szczeklik and in Bialystok headed by Prof. S. Chyrek-Borowska.

The PTA as an independent organization has been rapidly growing since 1983, and now has more than 1,000 members. The members of the PTA are specialists in different fields of medicine, including internal medicine, pediatrics, laryngology and dermatology. Three journals supported by the PTA are: Alergia Astma Immunologia, International Review of Allergology and Clinical Immunology and Pneumonologia i Alergologia Polska.

Every three years the PTA organizes a National Congress. The next National Congress will take place in Wisla in 2006. During each National Congress, the new president and executive committee are elected. The current president of the PTA is Prof. Marek Kowalski, and the president elect is Prof. Piotr Kuna.

Many members of the PTA belong to the EAACI, WAO and many other international societies. PTA, as an organization, cooperates with WAO and EAACI in the organization of joint meetings and educational programs. In 1997, a joint meeting of the PTA and EAACI was held in Katowice, while in 1999, the first Eastern Europe EAACI Summer School took place in Bialystok. In July 2004, the PTA organized a symposium with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Krakow.

Several meetings supported by the PTA each year are visited by delegates from other international organizations. In 2005, WAO representatives participated in the annual meeting in Lodz.

The main goals of the PTA are:

  • maintain a high level of health care for allergic patients
  • support scientific research in allergy and clinical immunology
  • promote educational programs for patients and physicians
  • support young allergists in their basic and clinical research
  • promote international cooperation

Contributed by Krzysztof Kowal, MD, on behalf of the PTA


WAO Now: What's New in the World of WAO

2006 Seminars & Conferences Placements Announced

Seminars & Conferences, WAO's newest educational program, offers member societies the opportunity to apply for an international lecturer, who they would not otherwise be able to afford to invite to their annual allergy meeting. The 2006 placements include:

7th Malaysian Congress of Allergy and Immunology
WAO Invited Lecturer: Cassim Motala
10-12 March 2006
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

IX International Congress of the Polish Society of Allergology
WAO Invited Lecturer: Todor Popov
10-13 May 2006
Golebiewski, Poland

XVI Congress of the Venezuelan Society of Allergy and Immunology
WAO Invited Lecturer: Carlos E. Baena-Cagnani
May 17-20, 2006
Isla de Margarita, Venezuela

17th Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Annual Scientific Meeting
WAO Invited Lecturer: Ronald Dahl
7-10 September 2006
Manly Beach, New South Wales, Australia

ALL-4-Kids Congress: Joint Meeting of Allergy Society of South Africa & the South African Pediatric Association
WAO Invited Lecturer: Michael A. Kaliner
7-11 September 2006
South Africa

To apply for a WAO Invited Lecturer in 2007, please fill out the online application.

Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Disease (GARD)

Carlos Baena-Cagnani, WAO Past-President, and G. Walter Canonica, WAO President-Elect, represented the World Allergy Organization at the Beijing launch of the Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Disease (GARD), 28 March 2006. GARD is a voluntary alliance of 41 internationally recognized organizations, institutions, and agencies from both developing and developed countries aimed at sharing expertise, identifying problems, promoting solutions, coordinating activities and working towards the common goal of fighting chronic respiratory diseases. Responsibility for different areas of development is vested in Working Groups. G. Walter Canonica Co-Chairs the Allergy Diagnosis Working Group, while Carlos Baena-Cagnani is Chair of the Pediatrics Working Group. Allergy is recognized by the GARD coalition as a major cause of respiratory illness, and WAO will work tirelessly within GARD to promote the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of allergic respiratory disease on a global basis. Other eminent members of the WAO Board of Directors in Beijing for the GARD Launch were Jean Bousquet, GARD Chair and Ronald Dahl, Co-Chair, F. Estelle R. Simons, Ruby Pawankar and Takeshi Fukuda. More information about GARD is available from the WHO Web site.

Sign up for On-Line Journal Subscription

WAO and Hogrefe & Huber Publishers are offering a limited number of free on-line subscriptions to Allergy & Clinical Immunology International - Journal of the World Allergy Organization for members in developing countries. If you are interested in receiving a complimentary, on-line subscription, please send an e-mail to info@worldallergy.org, noting "Free Journal Subscription" in the subject line, with the following details:

First name
Last name
Postal address
City, State/Province and postal code
Country
E-mail address
Name of Member Society


And In Other News

Allergy Book Review

New Perspectives in Monitoring Lung Inflammation: Analysis of Exhaled Breath Condensate
Paolo Montuschi
2005 CRC Press

List Price: $119.95 USD
Available from: http://www.crcpress.com/shopping_cart/products/ product_detail.asp?sku=TF1734&parent_id=1192&pc=

Reviewer: Mark C. Glaum, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
University of South Florida

Description:
In recent years, much attention has focused on the potential use of airway inflammatory markers to guide the diagnosis and management of chronic lung disease. Until now there have been few, if any, primary texts that concentrate discussion on the methodology and application of these technologies in adults and children. This textbook reviews the current state of art in the methodology and reliability of non-invasive measurement of airway inflammation through exhaled breath condensate. The text provides background and rationale for the evaluation of several important markers of airway inflammation that may have useful clinical applications in the evaluation and treatment of lung disease.

Purpose:
The purpose is to provide the researcher and clinician with a concise review of data that supports use of exhaled breath condensate as a tool to monitor airway inflammation. The information is presented in a clear, organized manner that allows for quick retrieval of key facts.

Audience:
The textbook is targeted to researchers and clinicians interested in chronic inflammatory lung diseases. Specialists most likely to utilize this resource include pulmonologists and allergists who routinely care for patients with asthma as well as other chronic lung diseases.

Features:
The initial chapters describe in detail, methodological issues in the collection of exhaled breath condensate. Subsequent chapters focus on the measurement of key airway inflammatory markers. Application of this technology in children is discussed in its own chapter. Each chapter begins with a table of contents showing the organization of presented material. Charts and tables are well designed and clearly presented. Chapters conclude with suggestions for further reading including well-annotated, timely references. The concluding chapters of the book discuss potential implications of exhaled breath condensate analysis in the diagnosis and management of lung diseases.

Assessment:
Technological advances in the non-invasive measurement of airway inflammatory markers will likely revolutionize the way in which lung diseases are diagnosed and managed. Objective means to measure airway inflammation will allow for precisely guided adjustments in airway disease management not currently possible with commonly available methods. New Perspectives in Monitoring Lung Inflammation: Analysis of Exhaled Breath Condensate provides an excellent introduction to this emerging technology and is a must-have for clinicians and researchers who strive to be at the forefront of innovations in the diagnosis and management of chronic lung disease.

Find more allergy book reviews on the WAO Website here.

WAO's mission is to be a global resource and advocate in the field of allergy, advancing excellence in clinical care through education, research and training as a world-wide alliance of allergy and clinical immunology societies. Visit us on the Web at www.worldallergy.org

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