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Lars Andersson, PhD: The Future of Personalized Medicine for Asthma

Despite not being able to attend conferences live, there are some advantages to a virtual conference.

Personalized medicine might be a realistic target in many specialties in the next decade, including pulmonology.

Recently, in a paper presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress 2020 (ERS 2020), researchers presented data showing adiponectin and leptin were significantly different between men and women, with higher levels found in female patients.

Lars L. Andersson, PhD, Karolinska Institute, said 1 of the objectives of the study was to get closer to personalized medicine in an effort to derive what treatments could be most effective in individual patients.

Andersson explained in an interview with HCPLive®, the new study gives researchers a better understanding of the impact of sex and age on circulating adipokines.

The study included 55 patients with mild to moderate asthma, 72 patients with severe asthma, and 41 patients with COPD. Overall, the researchers found both adiponectin and leptin were highly affected by body mass index (BMI), another datapoint for personalized medicine.

In a subgroup analysis, they found the difference in adiponectin between women and men was smaller in lean patients, while the difference in leptin was smaller in obese patients.

While the study was important, in a normal year Andersson would be able to present it live to his colleagues. However, with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic bringing conferences virtual Andersson was forced to adjust.

However, Andersson said the virtual format has some benefits.