Major classes of medication in asthma management include bronchodilating β2-agonists, anti-inflammatory inhaled corticosteroids, leukotriene modifiers and theophyllines. However, all asthmatics do not respond to the same extent to a given medication. Available data suggest that a substantial range of individual variability, as much as 70%, may be due to genetic characteristics of each patient. Pharmacogenomics offers the potential to optimize medications for individual asthmatics by using genetic information to improve efficacy or avoid adverse effects. The best-studied case of the potential contribution of pharmacogenomics to treatment response in asthma comes from studies on human β2 adrenergic receptors. In addition, genetic variation in β2-adrenergic receptor (Arg16Gly) may predict response to anticholinergics for the treatment of asthma. In case of inhaled corticosteroids, a recent investigation using a traditional SNP-based approach identified a gene for corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 as a potential marker of response. Another major pathway that has been investigated is the pathway underlying response to cysteinyl leukotriene receptor antagonist. It is likely that in the near future, pharmacogenomic approaches based on individual genetic information will be introduced into an asthma treatment guideline and this guideline will allow us to identify those who have the best chance to respond to a specific medication.
Asthma; pharmacogenomics; treatment response
Purpose of review
Patient response to the asthma drug classes, bronchodilators, inhaled corticosteroids and leukotriene modifiers, are characterized by a large degree of heterogeneity, which is attributable in part to genetic variation. Herein, we review and update the pharmacogenetics and pharmaogenomics of common asthma drugs.
Early studies suggest that bronchodilator reversibility and asthma worsening in patients on continuous short-acting and long-acting β-agonists are related to the Gly16Arg genotype for the ADRB2. More recent studies including genome-wide association studies implicate variants in other genes contribute to bronchodilator response heterogeneity and fail to replicate asthma worsening associated with continuous β-agonist use. Genetic determinants of the safety of long-acting β-agonist require further study. Variants in CRHR1, TBX21, and FCER2 contribute to variability in response for lung function, airways responsiveness, and exacerbations in patients taking inhaled corticosteroids. Variants in ALOX5, LTA4H, LTC4S, ABCC1, CYSLTR2, and SLCO2B1 contribute to variability in response to leukotriene modifiers.
Identification of novel variants that contribute to response heterogeneity supports future studies of single nucleotide polymorphism discovery and include gene expression and genome-wide association studies. Statistical models that predict the genomics of response to asthma drugs will complement single nucleotide polymorphism discovery in moving toward personalized medicine.
asthma; genes; personalized medicine; polymorphisms; response heterogeneity
Asthma is a complex genetic disease with multiple genetic and environmental determinants contributing to the observed variability in response to common anti-asthma therapies. Asthma pharmacogenetic research has focused on multiple candidate genes including the β2-adrenergic receptor gene (ADRβ2) and its effect on individual responses to beta agonist therapy. At present, knowledge about the effects of ADRβ2 variation on therapeutic responses is evolving and should not alter current Asthma Guideline approaches consisting of the use of short acting beta agonists for as-needed symptom based therapy and the use of a regular long-acting beta agonist in combination with inhaled corticosteroid therapy for optimal control of asthma symptoms in those asthmatics who are not controlled on inhaled corticosteroid alone. This approach is based upon studies showing a consistent pharmacogenetic response to regular use of short acting beta agonists (SABA) and less consistent findings in studies evaluating long acting beta agonist (LABA). While emerging pharmacogenetic studies are provocative and should lead to functional approaches, conflicting data with responses to LABA therapy may be caused by factors that include small sample sizes of study populations and differences in experimental design that may limit the conclusions that may be drawn from these clinical trials at the present time.
Asthma is a complex disease with multiple genetic and environmental factors contributing to it. A component of this complexity is a highly variable response to pharmacological therapy. Pharmacogenomics is the study of the role of genetic determinants in the variable response to therapy. A number of examples of possible pharmacogenomic approaches that may prove of value in the management of asthma are discussed below.
A search of PubMed, Google scholar, E-Medicine, BMJ and Mbase was done using the key words “pharmacogenomics of asthma”, “pharmacogenomics of β-agonist, glucocorticoids, leukotriene modifiers, theophylline, muscarinic antagonists in asthma”.
Presently, there are limited examples of gene polymorphism that can influence response to asthma therapy. Polymorphisms that alter response to asthma therapy include Arg16Gly, Gln27Glu, Thr164Ile for β-agonist receptor, polymorphism of glucocorticoid receptor gene, CRHR1 variants and polymorphism of LTC4S, ALOX5. Polymorphic variants of muscarinic receptors, PDE4 and CYP450 gene variants.
It was concluded that genetic variation can improve the response to asthma therapy. However, no gene polymorphism has been associated with consistent results in different populations. Therefore, asthma pharmacogenomic studies in different populations with a large number of subjects are required to make possible tailoring the asthma therapy according to the genetic characteristic of individual patient.
Asthma; pharamacogenomics; polymorphism; variability in response
OBJECTIVE: To determine asthma patients' patterns of disease and knowledge of asthma. DESIGN: Telephone survey of patients with diagnosed asthma. SETTING: Residences in 10 Canadian provinces. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with asthma diagnosed by a doctor: 829 men and women with a mean age of 38 +/- 7 years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Classes of asthma medications, patterns of use, frequency and severity of asthma symptoms use of emergency departments and urgent medical services, participation in asthma education programs, presence of environmental triggers, and knowledge of asthma pathophysiology and treatment. RESULTS: Four hundred fifty-six patients (55%) reported daily symptoms of asthma; 431 patients (52%) used inhaled beta 2-agonists daily. Only 340 patients (41%) used inhaled corticosteroids (IC), and many used them irregularly. A total of 579 (72%) respondents reported no unscheduled visits to a family physician for worsening asthma, but one third of patients had been to an emergency department for uncontrolled asthma in the last 5 years, and most of these visits had occurred during the last year. As to knowledge, 406 patients (49%) disagreed with the statement that asthma is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured. Among IC users, only 101 (30%) knew that IC reduced airway inflammation; among beta 2-agonist users, only 33% agreed that beta 2-agonists opened the bronchial tubes. Two hundred forty patients (29%) reported being current cigarette smokers, and 381 (46%) reported having pets at home. CONCLUSIONS: Daily symptoms and daily use of beta 2-agonists are common among Canadian asthma patients, and this is in excess of what is considered acceptable by current asthma care guidelines. Underuse of IC, inadequate knowledge of asthma symptoms and treatments, and failure to avoid asthma triggers were common in the population studied.
Pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics is the study of how genetic variation affects pharmacology, the use of drugs to treat disease. When drug responses are predicted in advance, it is easier to tailor medications to different diseases and individuals. Pharmacogenetics provides the tools required to identify genetic predictors of probable drug response, drug efficacy, and drug-induced adverse events—identifications that would ideally precede treatment decisions. Drug abuse and addiction genetic data have advanced the field of pharmacogenetics in general. Although major findings have emerged, pharmacotherapy remains hindered by issues such as adverse events, time lag to drug efficacy, and heterogeneity of the disorders being treated. The sequencing of the human genome and high-throughput technologies are enabling pharmacogenetics to have greater influence on treatment approaches. This review highlights key studies and identifies important genes in drug abuse pharmacogenetics that provide a basis for better diagnosis and treatment of drug abuse disorders.
Pharmacogenomics; addiction; treatment; psychiatric disease; SNP
Disease severity in asthma can be classified as mild, moderate or severe based upon the frequency of symptoms or the severity of airflow obstruction. This review will focus on the treatment of youths greater than 12 years of age and adults with moderate persistent asthma. Moderate asthmatics may have daily symptoms that cause some limitation with normal daily activities and require use of a rescue inhaled short-acting beta2-agonist inhaler or experience nocturnal awakenings secondary to asthma that occur more than once per week. Furthermore, spirometry may reveal airflow obstruction with a reduction in FEV1 to between 60% and 80% of predicted. Although inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are the primary controller medication used to modify symptoms in moderate asthmatics, additional controller medications, such as inhaled long-acting beta2-agonists (LABA), leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRA) or theophylline, are often needed to obtain optimal disease control. While the addition of an inhaled LABA to an ICS is very effective at improving disease control in moderate asthma, concerns have arisen over the safety of LABAs, in particular the risk of asthma-related death. Therefore, consideration may be given to initially adding a LTRA, rather than a LABA, to ICS when asthma symptoms are not adequately controlled by ICS alone. Furthermore, individualization of medication regimens, treatment of co-morbid conditions, and patient education are crucial to optimizing compliance with therapy, improving disease control, and reducing the risk of exacerbations. Lastly, the development of new asthma treatments, perhaps based upon personalized medicine, may revolutionize the future treatment of moderate asthma.
asthma; inhaled corticosteroids; long-acting beta2-agonists; leukotriene modifiers; leukotriene receptor antagonists; theophylline
There is evidence that humanized monoclonal antibody against IgE (Omalizumab) is effective in severe allergic asthma. In this study, we examined the effectiveness of omalizumab on asthma and nasal symptoms in Japanese patients with severe allergic asthma and rhinitis.
An open-label study that enrolled 7 patients with both severe allergic asthma and rhinitis who visited Allergy Center, Saitama Medical University was performed. All patients presented uncontrolled asthma despite medication including high-dose inhalational corticosteroids, long-acting beta2-agonist, leukotriene receptor antagonist, theophylline, and oral predonisolone. Omalizumab was added on their treatments and symptoms score using Asthma Contol Test (ACT), peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), exhaled nitric oxide (eNO), sputum eosinophils and nasal symptoms were evaluated before and 12 to 16 weeks after omalizumab.
Omalizumab significantly improved ACT scores especially dose of rescue use of short-acting beta2-agonist (P < 0.05) and PEFR (P < 0.05). Furthermore, omalizumab significantly decreased exhaled both eNO (P < 0.05) and the percentage of eosinophils in induced sputum. On the other hand, nasal symptoms were not change following induction of omalizumab.
Clinical effectiveness of omalizumab was confirmed in Japanese population of severe allergic asthma, but not rhinitis. The therapeutic potency of omalizumab on asthma likely involves anti-inflammatory properties such as decreasing eNO or airway eosinophilia.
It is increasingly recognized that large proportions of patients with asthma remain poorly controlled with daily symptoms, limitation in activities, or severe exacerbations despite traditional treatment with inhaled corticosteroids and other agents. This suggests that there is considerable scope for the refinement of traditional guidelines on the use of inhaled therapies in asthma and also a need for the development of novel therapeutic agents, particularly for the treatment of severe asthma. This review aims to discuss a range of emerging treatment approaches in asthma. Firstly, we will set the scene by highlighting the importance of achieving good asthma control in a patient-focused manner and discussing recent work that has furthered our understanding of asthma phenotypes and paved the way for patient-specific treatments. Secondly, we will review new strategies to better use the existing therapies such as inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting β2-agonists that remain the mainstay of treatment for most patients. Finally, we will review the novel therapies that are becoming available, both pharmacological and interventional, and discuss their likely place in the management of this complex disease.
asthma; treatments; classification; phenotypes; management
Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are considered first-line treatment for persistent asthma; yet, there is significant variability in treatment response. Dual specificity phosphatase-1 (DUSP1) appears to mediate the anti-inflammatory action of corticosteroids.
To determine whether variants in the DUSP1 gene are associated with clinical response to ICS treatment.
Study participants with asthma were drawn from the following multi-ethnic cohorts: the Genetics of Asthma in Latino Americans (GALA) study, the Study of African Americans, Asthma, Genes & Environments (SAGE), and the Study of Asthma Phenotypes and Pharmacogenomic Interactions by Race-ethnicity (SAPPHIRE). We screened GALA participants for genetic variants that modified the relationship between ICS use and bronchodilator response. We then replicated our findings in SAGE and SAPPHIRE participants. In a group of SAPPHIRE participants treated with ICS for 6 weeks, we examined whether a DUSP1 polymorphism was associated with changes in forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1) and self-reported asthma control.
DUSP1 polymorphisms, rs881152 and rs34507926, localized to different haplotype blocks and appeared to significantly modify the relationship between ICS use and bronchodilator response among GALA participants. This interaction was also seen for rs881152 among SAPPHIRE, but not SAGE participants. Among the group of SAPPHIRE patients prospectively treated with ICS for 6 weeks, rs881152 genotype was significantly associated with changes in self-reported asthma control but not FEV1.
DUSP1 polymorphisms were associated with clinical response to ICS therapy, and therefore, may be useful in the future to identify asthma patients more likely to respond to this controller treatment.
These findings further our understanding of ICS pharmacogenetics and will hopefully result in improved tailoring of this controller therapy among individuals with asthma and in better disease control.
We identified genetic variants in DUSP1 which appeared to mediate the clinical response to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) medication. These findings may eventually assist in identifying individuals with asthma most likely to respond this controller therapy.
Asthma; inhaled corticosteroids; dual specificity phosphatase-1; DUSP1; corticosteroid responsiveness
Leukotrienes are now established contributors to the inflammatory process in asthma and leukotriene modifiers are mainstays in the therapy of asthma. This review focuses on published association studies implicating the role of leukotriene pathway genes in asthma pathogenesis and treatment response, specifically focusing on those genetic variants associated with asthma affection status, the development of aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease, and pharmacogenetic response. While published studies have been limited by small sample sizes and lack of independent replication, multiple loci within multiple leukotriene pathway genes have now been associated in more than one study related to asthma or asthma treatment response. Those specific variants include two variants in ALOX5 that are both associated with response to 5-LO inhibition and to leukotriene receptor antagonists, variants in the two established cysteinyl leukotriene receptor antagonists, CYSLTR1 and CYSLTR2 that are both associated with asthma susceptibility in at least two independent populations, and a LTC4S promoter polymorphism that has been associated with asthma affection status and with asthma exacerbated respiratory disease. Desite these successes, genetic investigations into this pathway remain in their formative stages. Future studies aimed at providing a broader scope of investigation through increased sample sizes and through genome-wide approaches are needed.
Leukotrienes; SNP; asthma, 5-lipoxygenase; zileuton; montelukast; pharmacogenetics
Asthma guidelines advocate inhaled corticosteroids as the cornerstone treatment of persistent asthma, yet several studies report underuse of inhaled corticosteroids in children with persistent asthma. Moreover, few studies use objective pharmacy data as a measure of drug availability of asthma medications. We examined factors associated with the use of inhaled corticosteroids in young underserved children with persistent asthma using pharmacy records as their source of asthma medications.
This was a cross-sectional analysis of questionnaire and pharmacy record data over a 12-month period from participants enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of a nebulizer educational intervention.
Although exposure to ≥1 inhaled corticosteroids refill was high at 72%, 1 of 5 children with persistent asthma had either no medication or only short-acting β agonist fills for 12 months. Only 20% of children obtained ≥6 inhaled corticosteroids fills over 12 months. Obtaining ≥3 inhaled corticosteroids fills over 12 months was significantly associated with an increase in short-acting β agonist fills and receiving specialty care in the regression models while controlling for child age, asthma severity, number of emergency department visits, having an asthma action plan, and seeking preventive care for the child’s asthma.
Overreliance on short-acting β agonist and underuse of inhaled corticosteroid medications was common in this group of young children with persistent asthma. Only one fifth of children obtained sufficient controller medication fills.
asthma; children; preventive care; antiinflammatory
As the overall prevalence of asthma has escalated in the past decades, so has the population of patients with severe asthma. This condition is often difficult to manage due to the relative limitation of effective therapeutic options for the physician and the social and economic burden of the disease on the patient. Management should include an evaluation and elimination of modifiable risk factors such as smoking, allergen exposure, obesity and non-adherence, as well as therapy for co-morbidities like gastro-esophageal reflux disease and obstructive sleep apnea. Current treatment options include conventional agents such as inhalational corticosteroids, long acting β2 agonists, leukotriene antagonists, and oral corticosteroids. Less conventional treatment options include immunotherapy with methotrexate, cyclosporine and tacrolimus, biological drugs like monoclonal antibodies, tumor necrosis factor-α blockers and oligonucleotides, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, antimicrobials and bronchial thermoplasty.
severe asthma; treatment
Purpose of Review
This article reviews current concepts regarding the clinical and scientific rationale for the combined use of glucocorticosteroids (GC) and beta2-adrenoreceptor (β2AR) agonists in the treatment of childhood asthma.
Several studies have demonstrated that inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and β2AR-agonists are the most effective medications for the management of asthma in children. Given substantial evidence of an increased clinical benefit when these agents are used together, new studies are being pursued to establish the efficacy and safety of this combinational therapy in infants and children. Ongoing research is also investigating the mechanisms of β2AR and GC signaling and their molecular interactions. This new knowledge will likely lead to novel therapeutic approaches to asthma control.
There is increasing evidence demonstrating that the combination of long-acting β2AR-agonists and ICS may be more effective than high dose ICS therapy alone in the management of children with uncontrolled asthma. In addition, the use of a single inhaler containing ICS and a quick-acting β2AR-agonist might be a convenient alternative to prevent and treat asthma exacerbations. Future investigations should be designed to more specifically evaluate the efficacy and safety of these therapies in the different asthmatic phenotypes of infants and children.
Glucocorticosteroids; inhaled corticosteroids; beta2-adrenoreceptor agonists; long-acting β2-agonists; childhood asthma
Pharmacogenetic research aims to study how genetic variation may influence drug efficacy and/or toxicity; pharmacogenomics expands this quest to the entire genome. Pharmacogenetic findings may help to uncover new drug targets, illuminate pathophysiology, clarify disease heterogeneity, aid in the fine-mapping of genetic associations, and contribute to personalized treatment. In diabetes, there is precedent for the successful application of pharmacogenetic concepts to monogenic forms of the disease, such as maturity onset diabetes of the young or neonatal diabetes. Whether similar insights will be produced for the common form of type 2 diabetes remains to be seen. With recent advances in genetic approaches, the successive application of candidate gene studies, large-scale genotyping studies and genome-wide association studies has begun to generate suggestive results that may lead to changes in clinical practice. However, many potential barriers to the translation of pharmacogenetic discoveries to the clinical management of diabetes still remain. Here, we offer a contemporary overview of the field in its current state, identify potential obstacles, and highlight future directions.
Type 2 diabetes; pharmacogenetics; genome-wide association studies; single nucleotide polymorphisms; sulfonylureas; metformin; thiazolidinediones
In the past, we viewed lack of response to asthma medications as a rare event. Based on recent studies, we now expect significant variation in treatment response for all asthma medications. However, little information is available about methods to predict favorable treatment response. Research conducted in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN) and the NHLBI Childhood Asthma Research and Education (CARE) Network verified this variability in response to several long-term control medications, specifically inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRA), in adults and children with mild to moderate persistent asthma. The networks also identified potential methods to utilize patient characteristics, such as age and allergic status, and biomarkers, such as bronchodilator response, exhaled nitric oxide and urinary leukotrienes, to help predict response to ICS and LTRA and to determine which of the two treatments may be more effective in individual patients. This information now assists the clinician in personalizing asthma treatment at the time of initiating long-term control therapy.
Asthma; treatment response; inhaled corticosteroids; leukotriene receptor antagonists; leukotriene modifiers; β-adrenergic agonists
Recent asthma recommendations advocate the use of long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) in uncontrolled asthma, but also stress the importance of stepping down this therapy once asthma control has been achieved. The objective of this study was to evaluate downtitration of LABA therapy in pediatric patients who are well-controlled on combination-inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)/LABA therapy. Clinical and physiologic outcomes were studied in children with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma after switching from combination (ICS/LABA) to monotherapy with ICS. Of the 54 patients, 34 (63%) were determined to have stable asthma after the switch, with a mean followup of 10.7 weeks. Twenty (37%) had loss of asthma control leading to addition of leukotriene receptor antagonists, increased ICS, or restarting LABA. There were 2 exacerbations requiring treatment with systemic steroids. In patients with loss of control, there was a statistically significant decline in FEV1 (−8% versus −1.9%, P = 0.03) and asthma control test (−3.2 versus −0.5, P = 0.03). This did not approach significance for FEF25-75%, exhaled nitric oxide, lung volumes or airway reactivity. No demographic, asthma control measures, or lung function variables predicted loss of control. Pediatric patients with moderate-to-severe persistent asthma who discontinue LABA therapy have a 37% chance of losing asthma control resulting in augmented maintenance therapies. Recent recommendations of discontinuing LABA therapy as soon as control is achieved should be evaluated in a prospective long-term study.
Rationale: Inhaled β-agonists are one of the most widely used classes of drugs for the treatment of asthma. However, a substantial proportion of patients with asthma do not have a favorable response to these drugs, and identifying genetic determinants of drug response may aid in tailoring treatment for individual patients.
Objectives: To screen variants in candidate genes in the steroid and β-adrenergic pathways for association with response to inhaled β-agonists.
Methods: We genotyped 844 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 111 candidate genes in 209 children and their parents participating in the Childhood Asthma Management Program. We screened the association of these SNPs with acute response to inhaled β-agonists (bronchodilator response [BDR]) using a novel algorithm implemented in a family-based association test that ranked SNPs in order of statistical power. Genes that had SNPs with median power in the highest quartile were then taken for replication analyses in three other asthma cohorts.
Measurements and Main Results: We identified 17 genes from the screening algorithm and genotyped 99 SNPs from these genes in a second population of patients with asthma. We then genotyped 63 SNPs from four genes with significant associations with BDR, for replication in a third and fourth population of patients with asthma. Evidence for association from the four asthma cohorts was combined, and SNPs from ARG1 were significantly associated with BDR. SNP rs2781659 survived Bonferroni correction for multiple testing (combined P value = 0.00048, adjusted P value = 0.047).
Conclusions: These findings identify ARG1 as a novel gene for acute BDR in both children and adults with asthma.
pharmacogenetics; asthma; bronchodilator agents
exacerbations contribute substantially to morbidity, and their
reduction is an important therapeutic objective. In this integrated
analysis the risk of asthma exacerbations was assessed during treatment
with the leukotriene receptor antagonist zafirlukast.
collected from all five double blind, multicentre, randomised, placebo
controlled, 13 week trials of zafirlukast 20 mg twice daily performed
in steroid-naive patients with mild to moderate asthma. Exacerbation
data were collected prospectively during monitoring of adverse events
and concomitant medication use. Pooled data were used to assess the
relative risk of asthma exacerbations using three definitions:
worsening of asthma leading to withdrawal from the study; requirement
for additional anti-asthma therapy (excluding increased short acting
β2 agonist use); and requirement for oral corticosteroid therapy.
of patients with an asthma exacerbation leading to withdrawal was
consistently lower in the group treated with zafirlukast 20 mg twice
daily than in the placebo group. Overall, the risk of an asthma
exacerbation requiring withdrawal from zafirlukast therapy was
approximately half that of placebo (odds ratio 0.45; 95% CI 0.26 to
0.76; p = 0.003). Similar results were observed for exacerbations
requiring additional control medication (odds ratio = 0.47; 95% CI
0.30 to 0.74; p = 0.001) and oral corticosteroid rescue (odds ratio = 0.53; 95% CI 0.32 to 0.86; p = 0.010).
in a dose of 20 mg twice daily reduces the risk of asthma
exacerbations and the need for additional anti-asthma therapies,
fulfilling an important goal of control medication in patients with
mild to moderate asthma.
The purpose of this study was to assess the associations between panic disorder (PD) and health services use, health-related quality of life, and use of short-acting β2-agonists among individuals with asthma. We studied 21 adults with comorbid asthma and panic disorder (asthma-PD) and 27 asthma patients without PD (asthma-only). Participants attended a single session at a laboratory to complete the study. A retrospective chart review was conducted to assess use of health care resources for asthma treatment during the past 12 months. Patients completed the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire and lung function testing. Asthma-only and asthma-PD patients displayed no differences on asthma severity, as measured by spirometry and asthma medication class. Asthma-PD patients had more visits to their primary care physicians for asthma ( p < 0.01) and reported a lower quality of life related to asthma ( p < 0.01) and greater use of short-acting β2-agonists ( p < 0.05) than asthma-only patients. These findings were independent of pulmonary function, asthma medication class, and sociodemographic status. These data show that coexistence of PD in asthma is associated with increased use of primary care health resources and greater perceived impairment from asthma, independent of asthma severity. These findings indicate a need to develop interventions to improve quality of life and self-management of asthma among PD patients.
asthma; panic disorder; quality of life; health care-seeking behavior
OBJECTIVE: To comprehensively evaluate clinical, economic, and patient-reported outcomes associated with various therapeutic classes of asthma controller medications.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This observational study, which used administrative claims data from US commercial health plans, included patients with asthma aged 18 through 64 years who filled a prescription for at least 1 asthma controller medication from September 1, 2003, through August 31, 2005. Outcome metrics included the use of short-acting β-agonists (SABAs), the use of oral corticosteroids, inpatient (INP)/emergency department (ED) visits, and asthma-related health care costs. A subset of 5000 patients was randomly selected for a survey using the Mini-Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire, and the Asthma Therapy Assessment Questionnaire.
RESULTS: Of 56,168 eligible patients, 823 returned completed questionnaires. Compared with inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs), leukotriene modifiers (LMs) were associated with lower odds of INP/ED visits (odds ratio [OR], 0.80; P<.001), lower odds of using 6 or more SABA canisters (OR, 0.81; P<.001), and higher annual cost ($193; P<.001). In the subgroup analysis of adherent patients, LMs were associated with higher odds of INP/ED visits (OR, 1.74; P=.04), lower odds of using 6 or more SABA canisters (OR, 0.46; P<.001), and higher annual cost ($235; P<.001). Inhaled corticosteroids and LMs had a comparable impact on all patient-reported outcomes. For combination therapy, ICS plus a long-acting β-agonist consistently showed at least equivalent or better outcomes in the use of SABAs and oral corticosteroids, the risk of INP/ED visits, cost, asthma control level, quality of life, and impairment in productivity and activity.
CONCLUSION: Inhaled corticosteroids were associated with a lower risk of INP/ED visits, and a lower cost if adherence was achieved. When adherence cannot be achieved, LMs may be a reasonable alternative. Combination therapy with ICS plus a long-acting β-agonist was associated with better or equivalent clinical, economic, and patient-reported outcomes.
Inhaled corticosteroids were associated with a lower risk of inpatient/emergency department visits, and a lower cost if adherence was achieved. When adherence cannot be achieved, leukotriene modifiers may be a reasonable alternative. Combination therapy with inhaled corticosteroids plus a long-acting β-agonist was associated with better or equivalent clinical, economic, and patient-reported outcomes.
Rationale: Long-acting β-agonists (LABAs) and inhaled corticosteroids administered together appear to be complementary in terms of effects on asthma control. The elements of asthma control achieved by LABAs (improved lung function) and leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs; protection against exacerbations) may be complementary as well.
Objective: We sought to determine whether the combination of the LTRA montelukast and the LABA salmeterol could provide an effective therapeutic strategy for asthma.
Methods and Measurements: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study of 192 subjects with moderate asthma, we compared the clinical efficacy of regular treatment over 14 weeks with the combination of montelukast and salmeterol to that with the combination of beclomethasone and salmeterol in moderate asthma. The primary efficacy outcome was time to treatment failure.
Main Results: Three months after the randomization of the last subject, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board determined that the primary research question had been answered and terminated the trial. The combination of montelukast and salmeterol was inferior to the combination of beclomethasone and salmeterol as judged by protection against asthma treatment failures (p = 0.0008), lung function (26 L/min difference in a.m. peak expiratory flow rate, p = 0.011), asthma control score (0.22 difference in Asthma Control Questionnaire score, p = 0.038), and markers of inflammation and airway reactivity.
Conclusions: Patients with moderate asthma similar to those we studied should not substitute the combination of an LTRA and an LABA for the combination of inhaled corticosteroid and an LABA.
combination therapy; leukotriene; beta-agonists; inhaled corticosteroids
Pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics have been widely recognized as fundamental steps toward personalized medicine. They deal with genetically determined variants in how individuals respond to drugs, and hold the promise to revolutionize drug therapy by tailoring it according to individual genotypes.
The clinical need for novel approaches to improve drug therapy derives from the high rate of adverse reactions to drugs and their lack of efficacy in many individuals that may be predicted by pharmacogenetic testing.
Significant advances in pharmacogenetic research have been made since inherited differences in response to drugs such as isoniazid and succinylcholine were explored in the 1950s. The clinical utility and applications of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics are at present particularly evident in some therapeutic areas (anticancer, psycotrophic, and anticoagulant drugs).
Recent evidence derived from several studies includes screening for thiopurine methyl transferase or uridine 5'-diphosphoglucuronosyl-transferase 1A1 gene polymorphisms to prevent mercaptopurine and azathioprine or irinotecan induced myelosuppression, respectively. Also there is a large body of information concerning cytochrome P450 gene polymorphisms and their relationship to drug toxicity and response. Further examples include screening the presence of the HLA-B*5701 allele to prevent the hypersensitivity reactions to abacavir and the assessment of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER-2) expression for trastuzumab therapy of breast cancer or that of KRAS mutation status for cetuximab or panitumumab therapy in colorectal cancer.
Moreover, the application of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics to therapies used in the treatment of osteoarticular diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis) holds great promise for tailoring therapy with clinically relevant drugs (e.g. disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, vitamin D, and estrogens).
Although the classical candidate gene approach has helped unravel genetic variants that influence clinical drug responsiveness, gene-wide association studies have recently gained attention as they enable to associate specific genetic variants or quantitative differences in gene expression with drug response.
Although research findings are accumulating, most of the potential of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics remains to be explored and must be validated in prospective randomized clinical trials.
The genetic and molecular foundations of personalized medicine appear solid and evidence indicates its growing importance in healthcare.
pharmacogenetics, drug effects, drug metabolism, drug therapy, antineoplastic agents.
The three leukotriene (LT) modifiers approved for use in the United States, zileuton, zafirlukast, and montelukast, are the first new class of therapeutic agents to be introduced in 20 years for the treatment of asthma. These agents are referred to as leukotriene modifiers and have clearly demonstrated the ability to ameliorate bronchoconstriction and indices of airway edema and abnormal mucus production as observed in clinical trials. These agents have been shown to improve airflow, reduce the need for an inhaled bronchodilator, and improve nocturnal awakenings and asthma symptom scores appreciably. When combined with inhaled corticosteroid therapy, they may either provide additional improvement in efficacy or permit the reduction of the dose of inhaled corticosteroid necessary for effective therapy. Physicians should be familiar with these agents and consider them for use in their practice, in conjunction with current asthma management guidelines.
Short-acting inhaled β2-agonists such as albuterol are used for bronchodilation and are the mainstay of asthma treatment worldwide. There is significant variation in bronchodilator responsiveness to albuterol not only between individuals but also across racial/ethnic groups. The β2-adrenergic receptor (β2AR) is the target for β2-agonist drugs. The enzyme S-nitrosoglutathione reductase (GSNOR), which regulates levels of the endogenous bronchodilator S-nitrosoglutathione, has been shown to modulate the response to β2-agonists.
We hypothesized that there are pharmacogenetic interactions between GSNOR and β2AR gene variants which are associated with variable response to albuterol.
We performed family-based analyses to test for association between GSNOR gene variants and asthma and related phenotypes in 609 Puerto Rican and Mexican families with asthma. In addition, we tested these subjects for pharmacogenetic interaction between GSNOR and β2AR gene variants and responsiveness to albuterol using linear regression. Cell transfection experiments were performed to test the potential effect of the GSNOR gene variants.
Among Puerto Ricans, several GSNOR SNPs and a haplotype in the 3′UTR were significantly associated with increased risk for asthma and lower bronchodilator responsiveness (p = 0.04 to 0.007). The GSNOR risk haplotype affects expression of GSNOR mRNA and protein, suggesting a gain of function. Furthermore, gene-gene interaction analysis provided evidence of pharmacogenetic interaction between GSNOR and β2AR gene variants and the response to albuterol in Puerto Rican (p = 0.03), Mexican (p = 0.15) and combined Puerto Rican and Mexican asthmatics (p = 0.003). Specifically, GSNOR+17059*β2AR+46 genotype combinations (TG+GG*AG and TG+GG*GG) were associated with lower bronchodilator response.
Genotyping of GSNOR and β2AR genes may be a useful in identifying Latino subjects, who might benefit from adjuvant therapy for refractory asthma.
Asthma; Bronchodilator responsiveness; GSNO Reductase; β2-Adrenergic Receptor; Latinos; Gene-gene interaction; Polymorphisms; Pharmacogenetics