Antibiotic Trials for COPD in Spotlight at Thoracic Meeting

Damian McNamara

May 05, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Long-term results from a trial on the use of the antibiotic doxycycline to prolong the time between exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will be presented at the upcoming American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2016 International Conference.

Also presented will be a study of patients with advanced emphysema treated with either an endobronchial coil device or best supportive care. And there will be a discussion of whether aspirin given in the emergency department reduces the incidence of acute respiratory distress in at-risk patients.

These are just a few of the 600 keynote presentations, mini-symposia, specialty tracks, and other sessions that await the 15,000-plus conference attendees.

"Whether you're a clinician, a scientist, or an educator, and whether you're interested in pulmonary, critical care, sleep, or pediatric medicine, there should be something for everyone," said ATS President Atul Malhotra, MD, from the University of California, San Diego.

The keynote lectures, offered every morning from Sunday through Wednesday, will cover a wide range of topics, including lung cancer, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and sleep apnea, Dr Malhotra reported.

Dr Atul Malhotra

A session on e-cigarettes could spark some controversy, he told Medscape Medical News. "Some people think e-cigarettes are a safer alternative to tobacco; others think it's just another form of nicotine. There will be some informative discussion and debate about that."

Dr Malhotra also said he is looking forward to the session on the Ebola outbreak in Africa given by Katie Meyler. "She was an Ebola responder," he explained. She turned a girls' school she established in Liberia into a disaster-response center during the crisis, and was named a person of the year by TIME magazine in 2014. "She is going to tell her story during a plenary session, which should be pretty exciting."

Pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine is an exciting field to be in.

Dr Malhotra said he hopes attendees will take a number of points from the conference. First, "pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine is an exciting field to be in," he said. And second, "the ATS is an exciting place to be, not just for the research and clinical information you learn, but in terms of the camaraderie and friendships you make with colleagues around the world."

"What's unique about this conference is that we have strong foundations in research," he explained. One aim of the ATS is to highlight studies that can drive clinical thinking. The level of research attracts physicians from around the globe to the meeting. "We have a global platform and we're educating doctors around the world, including in developing countries."

Dr Malhotra has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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