Key Insight Regarding the Management of Asthma


This is part of the MD Magazine® Peer Exchange, “Precision Medicine in the Treatment of Severe Asthma.”Click here for Segment 1 and learn about distinguishing asthma from other conditions.

Peter Salgo, MD: This has been an amazing discussion. Every time we delve into this precision medicine business, we’re learning that people are actually getting it. It’s actually happening. It’s happening at an increased pace, it seems to me, and computers are a part of it—massive computing power. But right now, we’ve got to sort of pull it all together. What I’d like to do is ask each of you to talk to our audience. Share 1 takeaway pithy comment, if you will, that you’d like them to understand about what’s going on. Where do they need to be? Dr Jain, do you want to start?

Neal Jain, MD: Yes. Asthma is exciting for us right now. We have all these emerging therapies and all these emerging tools to identify whether you have a specific kind of asthma. That said, we still have a lot of work to do. But it’s exciting to be a part of that research, to see where this is going to take us. If you have asthma, or if you’ve got patients who are difficult, send them to someone who is interested in this. Get them involved in some of the research that’s going on, or at least get them involved in a center that knows how to identify and manage these patients as they deserve to be managed.

Peter Salgo, MD: Dr Rosenstreich?

David Rosenstreich, MD: I would emphasize that asthma is a controllable disease, but it involves teamwork between the patient and the physician. Even with all these new drugs, it’s going to continue to do that. I encourage both patients and physicians to work together. Stick with it, and be aware that the disease is manageable. Don’t put up with persistent symptoms.

Peter Salgo, MD: Dr Tachdjian?

Raffi Tachdjian, MD: In this new era, when we look at how we have treated asthma until now, to control exacerbations and make someone feel better, it was a one-size-fits-all strategy. It was inhaled corticosteroids, usually oral, if needed. As we see this improve, I can clearly say that today’s resolution is much better than before. What’s exciting is that in the next decade, we’re going to have super high resolution so that it’s personalized medicine. It’s targeted to you, specifically.

Peter Salgo, MD: If you want me to give you my impression, I think you guys are too conservative. The 1 thing I’ve seen in my career is that things are accelerating. Whereas you may think it’s going to take 10 years, I’ll bet it takes less. That’s my takeaway. But you guys are the experts. I really want to thank all of you for being here. What a great discussion on what has turned out to be an extraordinarily complicated disease. This is not your father’s asthma anymore. This is all very finely parsed out. I want to thank you for joining us as well. On behalf of our panel, we hope you return next time. I’m Dr. Peter Salgo, and I’ll see you then.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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