Bronchiectasis 101

Below are some key points regarding bronchiectasis:

  • Damage to the airways causing them to widen and become scarred. This causes impaired clearance of mucous resulting in buildup and recurrent lung infections.
  • Congenital etiologies (cystic fibrosis, primary ciliary dyskinesia, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency) versus acquired (post-infection, idiopathic, aspiration, immunodeficiency, auto-immune, ABPA).
  • Patients presents with chronic cough and sputum production. Affects women more than men.
  • Typically diagnosed by high resolution CT scan.
  • At risk for chronic colonization by Pseudomonas.
  • Typical infectious organisms include H. influenzae, Pseudomonas, Moraxella catarrhalis, Mycobacterium, Staph.
  • Treatment: Treat underlying condition, antimicrobrial therapy, surgical resection, lung transplant for end stage disease.

O’Donnell. CHEST. 2008.

Big News in the Field of Cancer!

At this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago recently, there were a lot of presentations on immunotherapy to treat cancer and tailoring therapies for individuals based on genetic mutations. Abstracts from the conference were recently published on ASCO’s website. The National Cancer Institute announced on Monday plans to launch a national research study sorting cancer patients to treatment groups based on genetic mutations rather than cancer type. This study could lead to drug trials that can be implemented more quickly and possibly match patients with a better suited drug for their cancer. These newer designed studies are referred to as “basket trials”. Click on the link below to a interesting graphic from the Washington Post that illustrates the difference between conventional clinical trials and basket trials.

A Novel Way to Target Cancer and its Treatments (Washington Post)