Medical Journal Reviews
Prof. Richard F. Lockey, MD, WAO Web Editor-in-Chief, reviewed premier medical journal articles for practicing allergists. Read his top 3 picks below and for the other 8 reviews, click here.
1. INVARIANT NATURAL KILLER T CELLS (NK) IN ASTHMA (A) AND CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE (COPD)
These authors studied the frequency of NK in the airways of subjects with mild (8 not treated with inhaled corticosteroids) and moderate (16 treated with inhaled corticosteroids) A, 10 subjects with COPD and 10 controls. NK were enumerated with flow cytometry with the use of CD1d tetramers loaded with α-galactosylceramide and antibodies specific to the NK receptor in samples of BAL, induced sputum, and bronchial-biopsy specimens. Real-time PCR analysis was performed on bronchoalveolar-lavage cells for evidence of gene expression of the NK receptor. The authors found that fewer than 2% of the T cells obtained from all subjects were similar and no expression of messenger RNA for the NK-receptor domains Vα24 and Vβ11 were present. NK are found in low numbers in the airways of subjects with asthma, COPD, and controls. Editor’s comment: More studies are needed to determine a possible role for NK in asthma. Vijayanand P, et al. N Engl J Med 2007; 356: 1410. Editorial, Ho LP: 1466.
2. OPIATE THERAPY IN CHRONIC COUGH (CC)
27 patients with CC enrolled into a randomized DBPC study using four weeks of slow-release morphine sulfate (MS) 5 mg 2X/day and a corresponding period of matched placebo. An open-labeled extension of the core study allowed dose escalation to MS 10 mg 2X/day. CC was assessed using the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ), daily symptom diary and citric acid cough challenge (CACC). A significant improvement of 3.2 points over baseline was noted on the LCQ (p < 0.01). A rapid reduction of 40% in CC scores was noted in subjects on slow-release MS ( p < 0.01). CACC test results did not show any significant changes. Two-thirds of the 18 patients in the extension study opted to increase the MS to 10 mg 2X/day, and at the end of three mo, there was a similar improvement in CC between the 5- and 10-mg groups. MS is an effective antitussive in CC at doses of 5 to 10 mg twice daily. Editor’s comment: The risk (side-effects, dependence and sedation) – benefits (decreased cough) have to be weighed when prescribing MS for CC. Morice AH, et al. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2007; 175: 312.
3. OVERWEIGHT, OBESITY, AND INCIDENT ASTHMA–A META-ANALYSIS OF PROSPECTIVE EPIDEMIOLOGIC STUDIES
This is an online bibliographic database search for studies evaluating body mass index (BMI) and incident asthma in adults. Independent observers extracted data from studies meeting predetermined criteria [defined categories of normal weight (BMI < 25), overweight (BMI, 25-29.9), and obesity (BMI ≥ 30)]. Seven studies of 333,102 subjects met inclusion criteria. Overweight and obesity conferred increased odds of incident asthma, with an OR of 1.51 (95% CI, 1.27 – 1.80). A dose-response effect was observed. The observations were present in both men (OR, 1.46; 95% CI, 1.05 – 2.02) and women (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.45 – 1.94; p = 0.232 for the comparison). The authors conclude that overweight and obesity are a dose-dependent risk in the odds of incident asthma. Editor’s comment: This is the best review available indicating that overweight and obesity are risk factors for asthma. Beuther DA, et al. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2007; 175: 661.
To read the additional reviews, click here.
WAO Now: What's New in the World of WAO
New Synopsis Available
A new synopsis on Pharmacotherapy for Allergic Diseases has been posted on the WAO Web site. Authored by Dr. Saha Siddiqui, Prof. Peter Bradding, and Prof, Stephen Holgate from the UK, this synopsis reviews currently available therapies for the treatment of allergic diseases, explaining their mechanisms of action, major side effects, and general comments about their use. To read the synopsis, click here.
WAO's Allergen Specific Immunotherapy Document
The World Allergy Organization (WAO) convened a group of experts to provide guidelines for the methodology of future immunotherapy studies to ensure that patients are treated based on sound scientific evidence and to minimize the risk of misusing limited financial resources for scientific studies. The document summarizes the recommendations for study design, patients’ selection, appropriate outcomes and statistical treatment to be used in planning and performing clinical trials with specific immunotherapy.
The document was recently published in the March 2007 Issue of Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and is now available to you free from PubMed.
You may also access the document from WAO’s Allergic Disease Resource Center.
New Interactive Case Review
Take a moment to test your knowledge with the new Interactive Case Review based on a Clinical Case Report - ACE Induced Angioedema by Dr. Byol Shin.
Call for Applications
WAO Short-Term Research Fellowship 2007 Applications
The World Allergy Organization (WAO) offers three Short-Term Research Fellowships, to commence in the latter half of 2007, to support junior allergists to visit a center of their choice to learn a research technique. The expected duration of each attachment is 2-3 weeks. WAO will contribute up to a maximum of $2,500 USD, to include travel and accommodations, for each Short-Term Fellowship.
Priority will be given to junior clinicians within five years of award of the most recent professional degree, who are specializing in allergy and who are affiliated to an academic department or clinical institute. Applicants must be current members of a WAO member society.
The Short-Term Fellowships will be applied to a project which meets one of the WAO Research Priorities:
- Genetic factors involved in the development of allergic disease and response to treatment
- Allergen characterization and standardization
- Clinical and basic studies in allergy and asthma
Application forms may be downloaded here
Applications must be received by WAO head office not later than 31 May 2007
The WAO Henning Løwenstein Research Award 2007
The WAO Henning Løwenstein Research Award is a biennial award given to a young scientist who has shown excellence within the field of allergy. WAO and ALK-Abelló will present the award at the World Allergy Congress in Bangkok, 2-6 December 2007.
The winner will receive EURO 20,000 together with a travel grant to attend the World Allergy Congress.
For application guidelines, visit www.alk.abello.com and click on "The WAO Henning Løwenstein Research Award."
Deadline: 30 June 2007
World Allergy Congress (WAC) Travel Grants
WAO, in partnership with Schering-Plough Corporation (SPC), the European Academy of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), is sponsoring several Travel Grants for young scientists to attend WAO’s World Allergy Congress (WAC) in Bangkok, Thailand, 2-6 December 2007. For further information, click here.
You are invited to attend…
WAF Symposium: Immune Tolerance
XXVI EAACI Congress
Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 8:30 - 10:00
Göteborg Convention Centre, Room K2-K3
Michael A. Kaliner, United States
Anthony J. Frew, United Kingdom
Concepts in tolerance induction in the lung
Dale Umetsu, United States
Modulation of IgE-related diseases in children: atopic asthma as a paradigm
Patrick Holt, Australia
Can omalizumab synergize immunotherapy?
Thomas Casale, United States
World Allergy Forum is supported through an unrestricted educational grant from
2007 World Allergy Congress Symposium: Masqueraders of Allergic Disease
XXVI EAACI Congress
Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 15:30 – 17:00
Göteborg Convention Centre, Room K2-K3
Chair: Michael A. Kaliner, United States
Connie Katelaris, Australia
Ronald Dahl, Denmark
Michael A. Kaliner, United States
June Educational Program Placements
The Asthma and Allergy Society of Virginia
16-17 June 2007
Virginia Beach, Virginia
US GLORIA Faculty:
Module 5: Treatment of Severe Asthma
Louisiana Society of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
23-24 June 2007
New Orleans, Louisiana
US GLORIA Faculty:
Module 2: Allergic Conjunctivitis
Module 5: Treatment of Severe Asthma
GLORIA is supported through unrestricted educational grants from:
GLORIA Module 5: Treatment of Severe Asthma Now Available!
WAO is excited to announce the completion of the Treatment of Severe Asthma Module, with is now available for download.
Seminars & Conferences Placement
Mexican National Congress on Clinical Immunology and Allergy
27-30 June 2007
WAO Invited Lecturer:
Emerging Societies Meeting - Cancun, Mexico
WAO's first Emerging Societies Meeting (ESM) of 2007 will take place during the LXI National Congress of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, 27-30 June 2007 in Cancun, Mexico. The ESM is intended as a follow-up to the ESM that was held in Latin America in 2006 and will include representatives from Honduras, Guatemala, Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Martinique. This meeting is jointly funded by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the Mexican College of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology and the World Allergy Organization.
For more information on the Mexican College of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology’s meeting 27-30 June 2007, please click here.
Sign up for Online Journal Subscription -
WAO and Hogrefe & Huber Publishers are offering a limited number of free online 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, online subscription, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, noting "Free Journal Subscription" in the subject line, with the following details:
Last (Family) name
City, State/Province and postal code
Name of Member Society
And In Other News
Two Allergy Book Reviews
Bronchial Asthma: A Guide for Practical Understanding and Treatment
Edited by: M Eric Gershwin, MD and Timothy E Albertson, MD, MPH, PhD.
List price: $125.00 USD (hardcover and eBook)
$99.50 USD (paperback)
Available from: Humana Press
Dr David C Sutherland, FRACP
Nineways Specialist Clinic, Broadmeadow, NSW, Australia
This is the 5th edition of a comprehensive guide to the diagnosis and management of bronchial asthma. Previous editions have been well reviewed in the medical press. The current edition provides an update of recent developments and relatively new drug therapy, along with a greater use of tables and charts, which are deemed to make the book more "user friendly". The coverage of the topic is encyclopaedic, with each chapter, and indeed sections within chapters, written so that they will stand alone. This is both the strength and the weakness of this volume.
The textbook is designed to provide rapid access to practical information regarding the diagnosis and management of bronchial asthma, gleaned from an enormous number of scientific studies and reviews, published over the last thirty years.
This volume is designed to provide practical information for generalists, and for specialists other than chest physicians and allergists/immunologists, as at least all clinicians will be required to manage this common condition, as part of the total care of their patients.
The scope of the book is very comprehensive, ranging from basic immunology and pulmonary physiology, through management issues and specific clinical problems, to lifestyle issues. The format of the book allows rapid access to information, through the use of “key points”, numerous tables and figures, and summaries. Most of the chapters provide comprehensive, and up-to-date lists of references.
This volume succeeds in its aim of providing practical, readily accessible, information about the diagnosis and management of bronchial asthma for those without a specialist interest in the area. However, this format means that the volume is not designed to be read from cover to cover, and even within single chapters, there is a great deal of repetition. This format does allow for the inclusion of a great deal of detailed information which may be of interest to individual clinicians, or perhaps relevant to the management of specific patients, but not necessarily of interest to the general reader. Much of the information (for example epidemiology, drug information, health delivery issues and the management of asthma in "minorities") is directed to the North American audience, and has less relevance to clinicians elsewhere.
Overall, this is a very useful resource text, and should be included in all institutional libraries. The ease of access to detailed information will make it an attractive resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students outside of the areas of respiratory medicine and allergy/immunology.
Oxford Handbook of Clinical Immunology and Allergy
Edited by: Gavin Spickett
List Price: $45.00 USD
Available from: Oxford University Press
Thomas Chacko, MD
Division of Allergy and Immunology
University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL, USA
This handy pocket reference is a practical and clinically relevant guide for the diagnosis and management of diseases in clinical immunology and allergy.
It provides the physician and other healthcare professionals with a quick reference and covers a wide range of clinical topics, basic laboratory tests, and the latest advances in the field.
The book is geared toward the novice student, sub-specialty resident in allergy and immunology, and other physicians who want a quick reference book for high yield information.
The pocket handbook is divided into 2 sections. The first section covers clinical diseases, including primary and secondary immunodeficiencies, allergic diseases, autoimmunity, connective tissue diseases, and vasculitis. There are multiple tables within each chapter but few treatment algorithms. Even rare diseases are highlighted with key clinical points. The second section covers diagnostic tests, and summarizes the methodology and pros and cons of each test.
This is an excellent pocket reference for clinical immunology and allergy. The sections are arranged to allow for quick retrieval of key facts. It is small and convenient to carry. Other sources are necessary for a more in depth review of these topics, but this is a good start.
In summary, the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Immunology and Allergy will be particularly helpful to the student or physician who wants a quick convenient resource to retrieve key facts, in a broad range of topics, related to this field.
Find more allergy book reviews on the WAO Website here.