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Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2004 Jun;4(3):263-72.

COPD: is there light at the end of the tunnel?

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National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College School of Medicine, Dovehouse St, London SW3 6LY, UK.


No currently available treatments reduce the progression or suppress the inflammation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, with a better understanding of the inflammatory and destructive process, several targets have been identified and new treatments are in clinical development. Several specific therapies are directed against the influx of inflammatory cells into the airways and lung parenchyma that occurs in COPD, including adhesion molecule and chemokine-directed therapy, as well as therapies to inhibit tumour necrosis factor-alpha. Several broad-spectrum anti-inflammatory drugs are also in development, and include inhibitors of phosphodiesterase-4, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-kappaB. There is a need for validated biomarkers and monitoring techniques in early clinical studies with new therapies for COPD.

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