Recent Submissions

  • Whole-body and muscle responses to aerobic exercise training and withdrawal in ageing and COPD

    Latimer, Lorna; Popat, Bhavesh; Houchen-Wollof, Linzy; Steiner, Michael (2022-05-12)
    Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients exhibit lower peak oxygen uptake (V'O2 peak), altered muscle metabolism and impaired exercise tolerance compared with age-matched controls. Whether these traits reflect muscle-level deconditioning (impacted by ventilatory constraints) and/or dysfunction in mitochondrial ATP production capacity is debated. By studying aerobic exercise training (AET) at a matched relative intensity and subsequent exercise withdrawal period we aimed to elucidate the whole-body and muscle mitochondrial responsiveness of healthy young (HY), healthy older (HO) and COPD volunteers to whole-body exercise. Methods: HY (n=10), HO (n=10) and COPD (n=20) volunteers were studied before and after 8 weeks of AET (65% V'O2 peak) and after 4 weeks of exercise withdrawal. V'O2 peak, muscle maximal mitochondrial ATP production rate (MAPR), mitochondrial content, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number and abundance of 59 targeted fuel metabolism mRNAs were determined at all time-points. Results: Muscle MAPR (normalised for mitochondrial content) was not different for any substrate combination in HO, HY and COPD at baseline, but mtDNA copy number relative to a nuclear-encoded housekeeping gene (mean±sd) was greater in HY (804±67) than in HO (631±69; p=0.041). AET increased V'O2 peak in HO (17%; p=0.002) and HY (21%; p<0.001), but not COPD (p=0.603). Muscle MAPR for palmitate increased with training in HO (57%; p=0.041) and HY (56%; p=0.003), and decreased with exercise withdrawal in HO (-45%; p=0.036) and HY (-30%; p=0.016), but was unchanged in COPD (p=0.594). mtDNA copy number increased with AET in HY (66%; p=0.001), but not HO (p=0.081) or COPD (p=0.132). The observed changes in muscle mRNA abundance were similar in all groups after AET and exercise withdrawal. Conclusions: Intrinsic mitochondrial function was not impaired by ageing or COPD in the untrained state. Whole-body and muscle mitochondrial responses to AET were robust in HY, evident in HO, but deficient in COPD. All groups showed robust muscle mRNA responses. Higher relative exercise intensities during whole-body training may be needed to maximise whole-body and muscle mitochondrial adaptation in COPD.
  • Association of gut-related metabolites with respiratory symptoms in COVID-19: A proof-of-concept study

    Ibrahim, Wadah; Greening, Neil; Brightling, Christopher; Siddiqui, Salman; Suzuki, Toru
    Gut-related metabolites have been linked with respiratory disease. The crosstalk between the gut and lungs suggests that gut health may be compromised in COVID-19. The aims of the present study were to analyze a panel of gut-related metabolites (acetyl-L-carnitine, betaine, choline, L-carnitine, trimethylamine, and trimethylamine N-oxide) in patients with COVID-19, matched with healthy individuals and patients with non-COVID-19 respiratory symptoms. As results, metabolites from this panel were impaired in patients with COVID-19 and were associated with the symptoms of breathlessness and temperature, and it was possible to differentiate between COVID-19 and asthma. Preliminary results showed that lower levels of betaine appeared to be associated with poor outcomes in patients with COVID-19, suggesting betaine as a marker of gut microbiome health.
  • Protocol for a single-centre mixed-method pre-post single-arm feasibility trial of a culturally appropriate 6-week pulmonary rehabilitation programme among adults with functionally limiting chronic respiratory diseases in Malawi

    Manise, Adrian; Singh, Sally; Steiner, Michael; Free, Robert
    Introduction: Malawi has a substantial burden of chronic respiratory diseases (CRDs) which cause significant morbidity and loss of economic productivity, affecting patients, families and health systems. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a highly recommended non-pharmacological intervention in the clinical management of people with CRDs. However, Malawi lacks published evidence on the implementation of PR for people with CRDs. This trial will test the feasibility and acceptability of implementing a culturally appropriate hospital-based PR programme among adults with functionally limiting CRDs at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Methods and analysis: This is a single-centre mixed-methods pre-post single-arm feasibility trial. Ten patients aged ≥18 years, with a spirometry confirmed diagnosis of a CRD and breathlessness of ≥2 on the modified Medical Research Council dyspnoea scale, will be consecutively recruited. Their baseline lung function, exercise tolerance and health status will be assessed; including spirometry, Incremental Shuttle Walk Test and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Assessment Test, respectively. Pretrial semistructured in-depth interviews will explore their experiences of living with CRD and potential enablers and barriers to their PR uptake. Along with international PR guidelines, these data will inform culturally appropriate delivery of PR. We initially propose a 6-week, twice-weekly, supervised centre-based PR programme, with an additional weekly home-based non-supervised session. Using combination of researcher observation, interaction with the participants, field notes and informal interviews with the participants, we will assess the feasibility of running the programme in the following areas: participants' recruitment, retention, engagement and protocol adherence. Following programme completion (after 6 weeks), repeat assessments of lung function, exercise tolerance and health status will be conducted. Quantitative changes in clinical outcomes will be described in relation to published minimal clinically important differences. Post-trial semistructured interviews will capture participants' perceived impact of the PR programme on their quality of life, enablers, and barriers to fully engaging with the programme, and allow iteration of its design. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval for this trial was obtained from University of Malawi College of Medicine Research and Ethics Committee (COMREC), Blantyre, Malawi (protocol number: P.07/19/2752) and University of Leicester Research Ethics Committee, Leicester, UK (ethics reference: 31574). The results of the trial will be disseminated through oral presentations at local and international scientific conferences or seminars and publication in a peer-reviewed journal. We will also engage the participants who complete the PR trial and the Science Communication Department at Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme to organise community outreach activities within Blantyre to educate communities about CRDs and PR. We will also broadcast our trial results through national radio station programmes such as the weekly "Thanzi la Onse" (Health of All) programme by Times Radio Malawi. We will formally present our trial results to Blantyre District Health Office and Malawi Ministry of Health.
  • Unexplained peripheral blood eosinophilia with gastrointestinal symptoms

    Wardlaw, Andrew; Myers, Bethan; Rathbone, Barrie; Siddiqui, Salman; Wurm, Peter (2021)
    No abstract available.
  • The experience of living with mesothelioma: a meta-ethnographic review and synthesis of the qualitative literature

    Darlison, Liz (2022)
    Objective: Mesothelioma is a life limiting cancer caused by previous exposure to asbestos. Due to the continued use of asbestos products internationally, the condition presents an increasing risk to global health with case numbers peaking in industrially developed nations. With the cancer reducing patient well-being, this study aimed to synthesizes the qualitative findings of studies exploring the experiences of patients living with mesothelioma to generate new conceptual insights and guide therapeutic care. Method: Thirteen databases were systematically searched: Academic Search Premier, BioMed Central, British Nursing Database, CINAHL Plus, Cochrane Library, Europe PubMed Central, MEDLINE, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, Science Direct, Scopus, Social Care Online, and Web of Science, between August and September 2020. Included articles were subject to quality appraisal using CASP checklists, and their respective findings analyzed using a metaethnographic form of qualitative data synthesis. Results: Twenty-two articles met the inclusion criteria, and the data synthesis produced three themes: (1) "complex trauma"; (2) "psycho-behavioral coping strategies"; and (3) "external sources of support." Combined, these themes form a novel conceptual framework and awareness of the patient experience that presents the lived trauma of disease alongside a patients coping processes and support pathways. Conclusion: Robust therapeutic support is needed to address the psychosocial and existential burden shouldered by people with mesothelioma. Therapies that promote sentiments of acceptance, hope, and benefit finding are proposed alongside initiatives that foster patient empowerment and meaning, and further promote patient choice in deciding end-of-life care. Recommendations for future research are also made.
  • Abemaciclib in patients with p16ink4A-deficient mesothelioma (MiST2): a single-arm, open-label, phase 2 trial

    Fennell, Dean; King, Amy; Anthony, Sarah; Poile, Charlotte; Scotland, Molly; Bhundia, Vina; Darlison, Liz; Dawson, Alan; Gaba, Aarti; Hutka, Margaret; et al. (2022)
    Background: Genetically stratified therapy for malignant mesothelioma is unavailable. Mesotheliomas frequently harbour loss of the chromosome 9p21.3 locus (CDKN2A-MTAP), which is associated with shorter overall survival due to loss of the tumour suppressor p16ink4A, an endogenous suppressor of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)4 and CDK6. Genetic restoration of p16ink4A suppresses mesothelioma in preclinical models, underpinning the rationale for targeting CDK4 and CDK6 in p16ink4A-negative mesothelioma. We developed a multicentre, stratified, phase 2 trial to test this hypothesis. Methods: The MiST2 study was a single-arm, open-label, phase 2 clinical trial done two UK centres. Patients older than 18 years with any histologically confirmed subtype of mesothelioma (pleural or peritoneal) with radiological progression after at least one course of platinum-based chemotherapy were molecularly screened by immunohistochemistry for p16ink4A. Patients with p16ink4A-negative mesothelioma were eligible for inclusion in the study. Patients were required to have measurable disease by modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours version 1.1 for malignant mesothelioma, a predicted life expectancy of at least 12 weeks, and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of 0-1. Patients received oral abemaciclib 200 mg twice daily, administered in 28-day cycles for 24 weeks. The primary endpoint was the disease control rate (patients with complete responses, partial responses, or stable disease) at 12 weeks. The null hypothesis could be rejected if at least 11 patients had disease control. The efficacy and safety populations were defined as all patients who received at least one dose of the study drug. The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03654833, and is ongoing (but MiST2 is now closed). Findings: Between Sept 31, 2019, and March 2, 2020, 27 eligible patients consented to molecular screening. The median follow-up was 18·4 weeks (IQR 6·7-23·9). One patient was excluded before treatment because of a serious adverse event before study drug allocation. 26 (100%) of 26 treated patients were p16ink4A deficient and received at least one dose of abemaciclib. Disease control at 12 weeks was reported in 14 (54%) of 26 patients (95% CI 36-71). Grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events (of any cause) occurred in eight (27%) of 26 patients (diarrhoea, dyspnoea, thrombocytopenia, vomiting, urinary tract infection, increased alanine aminotransferase, ascites, chest infection or suspected chest infection, neutropenic sepsis, alopecia, blood clot left calf, fall [broken neck and collar bone], haemoptysis, lower respiratory tract infection, and pulmonary embolism). Grade 3 or worse treatment-related adverse events occurred in three (12%) of 26 patients (diarrhoea, thrombocytopenia, vomiting, increased alanine aminotransferase, and pulmonary embolism). Serious adverse events occurred in six (23%) of 26 patients, leading to treatment discontinuation in one (4%) patient (diarrhoea, urinary tract infection, chest infection, neutropenic sepsis, fall [broken neck and collar bone], haemoptysis, lower respiratory tract infection, and pulmonary embolism). One patient had a serious adverse event related to abemaciclib (diarrhoea). One (4%) of 26 patients died from an adverse event (neutropenic sepsis). Interpretation: This study met its primary endpoint, showing promising clinical activity of abemaciclib in patients with p16ink4A-negative mesothelioma who were previously treated with chemotherapy, and warrants its further investigation in a randomised study as a targeted stratified therapy.
  • Predictors of adverse outcome in the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic: results from a UK centre

    Martin, Christopher; Pan, Daniel; Hills, George; Modha, Deborah; Patel, Prashanth; Jenkins, David; Barton, Linda; Jones, William; Brunskill, Nigel; Haldar, Pranab; et al. (2022)
    Background/aims: Data concerning differences in demographics/disease severity between the first and second waves of COVID-19 are limited. We aimed to examine prognosis in patients presenting to hospital with COVID-19 amongst different ethnic groups between the first and second waves in the UK. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, we included 1763 patients presenting to a regional hospital centre in Leicester (UK) and compared those in the first (n = 956) and second (n = 807) waves. Admission National Early Warning Scores, mechanical ventilation and mortality rate were lower in the second wave compared with the first. Results: Thirty-day mortality risk in second wave patients was approximately half that of first wave patients [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 0.55, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.40-0.75]. In the second wave, Black patients were at higher risk of 30-day mortality than White patients (4.73, 1.56-14.3). Conclusion: We found that disporportionately higher risks of death in patients from ethnic minority groups were not equivalent across consecutive waves of the pandemic. This suggests that risk factors for death in those from ethnic minority groups are malleable and potentially reversible. Our findings need urgent investigation in larger studies.
  • Understanding the experiences of end of life care for patients with mesothelioma from the perspective of bereaved family caregivers in the UK: a qualitative analysis

    Darlison, Liz (2022)
    Objectives: Mesothelioma is a rare, progressive cancer with a short trajectory from diagnosis to the end of life. This study explores the experiences of palliative and end of life care for patients with mesothelioma from the perspective of bereaved family caregivers. Methods: A qualitative, descriptive approach was adopted comprising face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with bereaved caregivers of patients with mesothelioma in the UK. An inductive, thematic analysis was conducted using the 'Framework' approach. Results: Nine bereaved caregivers participated. Four themes emerged: understanding what lies ahead; carer support; care co-ordination; managing after death: practicalities, inquests and abandonment. Caregivers need to understand what lies ahead in order to emotionally and practically prepare themselves for supporting the patient at the end of life. Information and support needs of caregivers were often distinct from those of patients, including the importance of information about the coroner's involvement. The importance of care co-ordination was emphasised, with caregivers valuing on-going relationships and a named individual taking responsibility for co-ordinating the patients care. Feelings of abandonment arose when there was no contact with healthcare professionals following the death of the patient. Conclusions: Greater opportunity for open, one-to-one communication between family caregivers and healthcare professionals is vital to enable the caregiver to prepare for what lies ahead at the end of life and prevent feelings of abandonment after the death of the patient. Improved care co-ordination and partnership working are essential for supporting both patient and caregiver at the end of life.
  • Culturally adapted pulmonary rehabilitation for adults living with post-tuberculosis lung disease in Kyrgyzstan: protocol for a randomised controlled trial with blinded outcome measures

    Free, Robert; Steiner, Michael; Singh, Sally
    Introduction: Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a programme of individually prescribed physical exercise, education and self-management activities. PR is recommended in international guidelines for managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other chronic respiratory diseases. PR is still under-recognised in tuberculosis (TB) guidelines and PR is not available in many low and middle-income countries and for people with post-TB lung disease (PTBLD). The main aims of the study are to adapt and define a culturally appropriate PR programme in Kyrgyzstan for people living with PTBLD and to test, in a fully powered randomised controlled trial (RCT), the effectiveness of PR in improving exercise capacity for people living with PTBLD. Methods and analysis: The study will be divided into three stages: stage 1: focus group discussions with patients living with PTBLD and interviews with PR referrers will be conducted to explore initial perceptions and inform the cultural adaptation, structure and content of PR. Stage 2a: a single-blind RCT evaluating the effectiveness of a culturally adapted 6-week PR programme on maximal exercise capacity, assessed by the incremental shuttle walking test, before and after PR. Participants will be additionally followed-up 12 weeks postbaseline. Additional outcomes will include health-related quality of life, respiratory symptoms, psychological well-being and physical function. Stage 2b: participants' experience of PR will be collected through interviews and using a log book and a patient evaluation form. Staff delivering PR will be interviewed to explore their experience of delivering the intervention and refining the delivery for future implementation. Ethics and dissemination: The study was approved 22/07/2019 by Ethics Committee National Center for Cardiology and Internal Medicine (reference number 17) and by University of Leicester ethics committee (reference number 22293). Study results will be disseminated through appropriate peer-reviewed journals, national and international respiratory/physiotherapy conferences, social media, and through patient and public involvement events in Kyrgyzstan and in the UK. Trial registration number: ISRCTN11122503.
  • Persistent hesitancy for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines among healthcare workers in the United Kingdom: analysis of longitudinal data from the UK-REACH cohort study

    Martin, Christopher; Carr, Sue; Nazareth, Joshua; Tobin, Martin; Pan, Daniel; Pareek, Manish (2022)
    No abstract available.
  • Sputum biomarkers during acute severe asthma attacks in children - a case-control study

    Ramphul, Manisha; Monteiro, William; Brightling, Christopher; Gaillard, Erol
    Aim: To study sputum mediator profiles pattern in children with acute severe asthma, compared with stable asthma and healthy controls. The mechanisms of acute severe asthma attacks, such as biomarkers cascades and immunological responses, are poorly understood. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational case-control study of children aged 5 to 17 years, who presented to hospital with an asthma attack. Children with stable asthma were recruited during outpatient asthma clinic visits. Control children without an asthma diagnosis were recruited from surgical wards. Sputum mediator profiles were measured, and sputum leukocyte differential cell counts were generated. Results: Sputum data were available in 48 children (acute asthma; n = 18, stable asthma; n = 17, healthy controls; n = 13). Acute-phase biomarkers and neutrophil attractants such as IL-6 and its receptor, IL-8 and cytokines linked with bacterial signals, including TNF-R1 and TNF-R2, were elevated in asthma attacks versus stable asthma and healthy controls. T-cell attractant cytokines, associated with viral infections, such as CCL-5, CXCL-10 and CXCL-11, and CXCL-9 (secreted from eosinophils after a viral trigger) were also raised. Conclusion: Mediator profiles consistent with bacterial and viral respiratory infections, and T2 inflammation markers co-exist in the sputum of children with acute severe asthma attacks.
  • Potential for integrating yoga within pulmonary rehabilitation and recommendations of reporting framework

    Singh, Sally (2021)
    There is a rising burden of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in India. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR), is a universally recommended multidisciplinary therapeutic strategy for the management of COPD; however, its needs are unmet. The diversity in the healthcare systems, availability of PR specialists and sociocultural multiformity requires contextualised and innovative PR models. Culturally sensitive elements, such as yoga, have some evidence of a positive impact in the management of COPD. Yoga and PR are based on similar principles with a holistic approach of involving physical activities, behaviour change techniques and psychological support to improve disease outcomes. Arguably the principles of PR and yoga are complementary but there are some important differences in the intensities of activities, exercise types and inclusion of mindfulness in components that must be considered. Components of PR enable aerobic capacity building, strengthening of muscles of the upper and lower extremities and building awareness towards disease management. Yoga, on the other hand, primarily can focus on core strengthening, breathing control, mindfulness and self-awareness. We discuss the potential of integrating the sociocultural appeal of yoga with PR delivered at international standards, and how an integrated approach may lead to optimal referral, uptake and completion.
  • The variability of volatile organic compounds in the indoor air of clinical environments.

    Ibrahim, Wadah; Zhao, Bo; McNally, Teresa; Free, Robert; Greening, Neil; Gaillard, Erol; Brightling, Christopher; Siddiqui, Salman (2021)
    The development of clinical breath-analysis is confounded by the variability of background volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Reliable interpretation of clinical breath-analysis at individual, and cohort levels requires characterisation of clinical-VOC levels and exposures. Active-sampling with thermal-desorption/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry recorded and evaluated VOC concentrations in 245 samples of indoor air from three sites in a large National Health Service (NHS) provider trust in the UK over 27 months. Data deconvolution, alignment and clustering isolated 7344 features attributable to VOC and described the variability (composition and concentration) of respirable clinical VOC. 328 VOC were observed in more than 5% of the samples and 68 VOC appeared in more than 30% of samples. Common VOC were associated with exogenous and endogenous sources and 17 VOC were identified as seasonal differentiators. The presence of metabolites from the anaesthetic sevoflurane, and putative-disease biomarkers in room air, indicated that exhaled VOC were a source of background-pollution in clinical breath-testing activity. With the exception of solvents, and waxes associated with personal protective equipment (PPE), exhaled VOC concentrations above 3µg m-3are unlikely to arise from room air contamination, and in the absence of extensive survey-data, this level could be applied as a threshold for inclusion in studies, removing a potential environmental confounding-factor in developing breath-based diagnostics.
  • Randomised controlled trial to investigate the use of high-frequency airway oscillations as training to improve dyspnoea (TIDe) in COPD

    Daynes, Enya; Greening, Neil; Singh, Sally (2021)
    Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterised by symptomatic dyspnoea and reduced exercise tolerance, in part as a result muscle weakness, for which inspiratory muscle training (IMT) may be useful. Excess mucus hypersecretion commonly coexists in COPD and may lead to reduce ventilation, further impacting on breathlessness. Devices for sputum clearance may be employed to aid mucus expectoration. This trial aimed to explore the effectiveness of a combined IMT and high-frequency airway oscillating (HFAO) device in the management of dyspnoea. Methods: This was a double-blinded, randomised sham-controlled trial which recruited symptomatic patients with COPD. Patients were randomised to either a HFAO device (Aerosure) or sham device for 8 weeks, three times a day. The primary outcome was the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire dyspnoea (CRQ-D) domain. Pre-specified subgroup analyses were performed including those with respiratory muscle weakness, excessive sputum and frequent exacerbators. Results: 104 participants (68% men, mean (SD) age 69.75 years (7.41), forced expiratory volume in 1 s per cent predicted 48.22% (18.75)) were recruited to this study with 96 participants completing. No difference in CRQ-D was seen between groups (0·28, 95% CI -0.19 to 0.75, p=0.24), though meaningful improvements were seen over time in both groups (mean (SD) HFAO 0.45 (0.78), p<0.01; sham 0.73 (1.09), p<0.01). Maximal inspiratory pressure significantly improved in the HFAO group over sham (5.26, 95% CI 0.34 to 10.19, p=0.05). Similar patterns were seen in the subgroup analysis. Conclusion: There were no statistical differences between the HFAO and the sham group in improving dyspnoea measured by the CRQ-D.
  • Risankizumab in Severe Asthma - A Phase 2a, Placebo-Controlled Trial

    Brightling, Christopher (2021)
    Background: Interleukin-23 has been implicated in airway inflammation that is mediated by type 2 and type 17 cytokines. Whether targeting interleukin-23 in the treatment of asthma improves disease control and reduces airway inflammation is unclear. Methods: We conducted a phase 2a, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 24-week, parallel-group trial to assess the efficacy and safety of risankizumab, an anti-interleukin-23p19 monoclonal antibody, in adults with severe asthma. Patients were assigned to receive 90 mg of risankizumab or placebo, administered subcutaneously once every 4 weeks. The primary end point was the time to the first asthma worsening. Asthma worsening was defined as deterioration from baseline on 2 or more consecutive days; deterioration was considered to be a decrease of at least 30% in the morning peak expiratory flow or an increase from baseline of at least 50% in the number of puffs of rescue medication in a 24-hour period (equating to at least four additional puffs), a severe asthma exacerbation, or an increase of 0.75 or more points on the 5-item Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ-5; scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating less control). Secondary end points were the annualized rate of asthma worsening, the annualized rate of severe exacerbations, the ACQ-5 score, and the forced expiratory volume in 1 second. Exploratory end points were assessed with the use of sputum cytologic analysis and gene expression analysis, and safety was assessed. Results: A total of 105 patients received risankizumab and 109 received placebo. The clinical characteristics of the patients were similar in the two groups. The time to the first asthma worsening was shorter with risankizumab than with placebo (median, 40 days vs. 86 days; hazard ratio, 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 2.04; P = 0.03). The rate ratio for annualized asthma worsening with risankizumab as compared with placebo was 1.49 (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.99), and the rate ratio for severe exacerbations was 1.13 (95% CI, 0.75 to 1.70). Sputum transcriptomic pathway analysis showed that genes involved in the activation of natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells and the activation of the type 1 helper T and type 17 helper T transcription factors were down-regulated by risankizumab. No safety concerns were associated with risankizumab therapy. Conclusions: Risankizumab treatment was not beneficial in severe asthma. The time to the first asthma worsening was shorter and the annualized rate of asthma worsening was higher with risankizumab than with placebo. (Funded by AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02443298.).
  • Risankizumab in severe asthma - a phase 2a, placebo-controlled trial

    Brightling, Christopher
    Background: Interleukin-23 has been implicated in airway inflammation that is mediated by type 2 and type 17 cytokines. Whether targeting interleukin-23 in the treatment of asthma improves disease control and reduces airway inflammation is unclear. Methods: We conducted a phase 2a, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 24-week, parallel-group trial to assess the efficacy and safety of risankizumab, an anti-interleukin-23p19 monoclonal antibody, in adults with severe asthma. Patients were assigned to receive 90 mg of risankizumab or placebo, administered subcutaneously once every 4 weeks. The primary end point was the time to the first asthma worsening. Asthma worsening was defined as deterioration from baseline on 2 or more consecutive days; deterioration was considered to be a decrease of at least 30% in the morning peak expiratory flow or an increase from baseline of at least 50% in the number of puffs of rescue medication in a 24-hour period (equating to at least four additional puffs), a severe asthma exacerbation, or an increase of 0.75 or more points on the 5-item Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ-5; scores range from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating less control). Secondary end points were the annualized rate of asthma worsening, the annualized rate of severe exacerbations, the ACQ-5 score, and the forced expiratory volume in 1 second. Exploratory end points were assessed with the use of sputum cytologic analysis and gene expression analysis, and safety was assessed. Results: A total of 105 patients received risankizumab and 109 received placebo. The clinical characteristics of the patients were similar in the two groups. The time to the first asthma worsening was shorter with risankizumab than with placebo (median, 40 days vs. 86 days; hazard ratio, 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 2.04; P = 0.03). The rate ratio for annualized asthma worsening with risankizumab as compared with placebo was 1.49 (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.99), and the rate ratio for severe exacerbations was 1.13 (95% CI, 0.75 to 1.70). Sputum transcriptomic pathway analysis showed that genes involved in the activation of natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells and the activation of the type 1 helper T and type 17 helper T transcription factors were down-regulated by risankizumab. No safety concerns were associated with risankizumab therapy. Conclusions: Risankizumab treatment was not beneficial in severe asthma. The time to the first asthma worsening was shorter and the annualized rate of asthma worsening was higher with risankizumab than with placebo. (Funded by AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02443298.).
  • The variability of volatile organic compounds in the indoor air of clinical environments

    Ibrahim, Wadah; Zhao, Bo; Singapuri, Amisha; McNally, Teresa; Free, Robert; Greening, Neil; Gaillard, Erol; Brightling, Christopher; Siddiqui, Salman (2021-11-01)
    The development of clinical breath-analysis is confounded by the variability of background volatile organic compounds (VOC). Reliable interpretation of clinical breath-analysis at individual, and cohort levels requires characterisation of clinical-VOC levels and exposures. Active-sampling with thermal-desorption/gas chromatography-mass spectrometry recorded and evaluated VOC concentrations in 245 samples of indoor air from three sites in a large NHS provider trust in the UK over 27 months. Data deconvolution, alignment and clustering isolated 7344 features attributable to VOC and described the variability (composition and concentration) of respirable clinical VOC. 328 VOC were observed in more than 5% of the samples and 68 VOC appeared in more than 30% of samples. Common VOC were associated with exogenous and endogenous sources and 17 VOC were identified as seasonal differentiators. The presence of metabolites from the anaesthetic sevoflurane, and putative-disease biomarkers in room air, indicated that exhaled VOC were a source of background-pollution in clinical breath-testing activity. With the exception of solvents, and PPE waxes, exhaled VOC concentrations above 3 µg m-3are unlikely to arise from room air contamination, and in the absence of extensive survey-data, this level could be applied as a threshold for inclusion in studies, removing a potential environmental confounding-factor in developing breath-based diagnostics.
  • Change in V˙O 2peak in Response to Aerobic Exercise Training and the Relationship With Exercise Prescription in People With COPD: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

    Ward, Thomas J.C.; Jones, Amy V.; Trethewey, Ruth; Divall, Pip; Singh, Sally; Steiner, Michael; Evans, Rachael (2020-07)
    Background: Despite the wide-ranging benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation, conflicting results remain regarding whether people with COPD can improve their peak oxygen uptake (V˙O2peak) with aerobic training. Research question: The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of aerobic training and exercise prescription on V˙O2peak in COPD. Study design and methods: A systematic review was performed by using MEDLINE, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Cochrane databases for all studies measuring V˙O2peak prior to and following supervised lower-limb aerobic training in COPD. A random effects meta-analysis limited to randomized controlled trials comparing aerobic training vs usual care was conducted. Other study designs were included in a secondary meta-analysis and meta-regression to investigate the influence of program and patient factors on outcome. Results: A total of 112 studies were included (participants, N = 3,484): 21 controlled trials (n = 489), of which 13 were randomized (n = 288) and 91 were uncontrolled (n = 2,995) studies. Meta-analysis found a moderate positive change in V˙O2peak (standardized mean difference, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.34-0.69) with the intervention. The change in V˙O2peak was positively associated with target duration of exercise session (P = .01) and, when studies > 1 year duration were excluded, greater total volume of exercise training (P = .01). Similarly, the change in V˙O2peak was greater for programs > 12 weeks compared with those 6 to 12 weeks when adjusted for age and sex. However, reported prescribed exercise intensity (P = .77), training modality (P > .35), and mode (P = .29) did not affect V˙O2peak. Cohorts with more severe airflow obstruction exhibited smaller improvements in V˙O2peak (P < .001). Interpretation: Overall, people with COPD achieved moderate improvements in V˙O2peak through supervised aerobic training. There is sufficient evidence to show that programs with greater total exercise volume, including duration of exercise session and program duration, are more effective. Reduced effects in severe disease suggest alternative aerobic training methods may be needed in this population.
  • The impact of ethnicity on clinical outcomes in COVID-19: A systematic review

    Pan, Daniel; Sze, Shirley; Minhas, Jatinder S; Divall, Pip; Williams, Caroline; Squire, Iain; Khunti, Kamlesh; Pareek, Manish
    Background: The relationship between ethnicity and COVID-19 is uncertain. We performed a systematic review to assess whether ethnicity has been reported in patients with COVID-19 and its relation to clinical outcomes. Methods: We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and PROSPERO for English-language citations on ethnicity and COVID-19 (1st December 2019-15th May 2020). We also reviewed: COVID-19 articles in NEJM, Lancet, BMJ, JAMA, clinical trial protocols, grey literature, surveillance data and preprint articles on COVID-19 in MedRxiv to evaluate if the association between ethnicity and clinical outcomes were reported and what they showed. PROSPERO:180654. Findings: Of 207 articles in the database search, five reported ethnicity; two reported no association between ethnicity and mortality. Of 690 articles identified from medical journals, 12 reported ethnicity; three reported no association between ethnicity and mortality. Of 209 preprints, 34 reported ethnicity - 13 found Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals had an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and 12 reported worse clinical outcomes, including ITU admission and mortality, in BAME patients compared to White patients. Of 12 grey literature reports, seven with original data reported poorer clinical outcomes in BAME groups compared to White groups. Interpretation: Data on ethnicity in patients with COVID-19 in the published medical literature remains limited. However, emerging data from the grey literature and preprint articles suggest BAME individuals are at an increased risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to White individuals and also worse clinical outcomes from COVID-19. Further work on the role of ethnicity in the current pandemic is of urgent public health importance.