Darcy Marciniuk, MD: New Methods for the Treatment of COPD

Clinicians now have pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments that can be very effective for the common condition.

Therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have come a long way, and they continue to evolve today to include both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies and team-based approaches. Here's Dr Darcy Marciniuk's take on the evolving treatment landscape, recorded at the 2017 CHEST annual meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Our approach to the optimal management of patients COPD is evolving. Certainly, we recognize that our goal of therapy is to reduce symptoms of shortness of breath and activity limitation, but we're also now partnering that with prevention of acute exacerbations of COPD. We have both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions for both of those that can be very effective.

There's been a number of evolutions in the management and our appreciation of COPD. Certainly, early diagnosis is important, and the power of spirometry confirming the diagnosis so that our therapy is focused with laser-like precision.

Secondly, once the diagnosis is established, we now have a full armament of therapies, both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic, that are very effective. And so it's important for us to actively enquire and ensure that that therapy is effective, and in the absence of being effective, we can readjust and reposition.

Similarly, if patients are still experiencing symptoms, particularly shortness of breath or activity limitation, there is a need and an acceptance that we would augment therapy, goal directed, to relieve those symptoms.