As part of our ongoing seminar series, the Centre of Research Excellence in Severe Asthma hosted Prof. Tim Harrison, for a webinar titled “Can Severe Asthma Exacerbations Be Prevented With More Inhaled Steroid?” on 21 March, 2018.
Asthma attacks often happen following a worsening of asthma symptoms. A temporary increase in inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) dose has been recommended to reduce asthma attacks. However, no data was available from randomised controlled trials to support this recommendation.
Prof. Harrison provides an overview of his work studying the effect of increased ICS dose on asthma attacks. His initial trial in 2004 demonstrated that doubling ICS dose did not improve lung function or reduce symptoms. In a single centre trial quadrupling ICS dose, a slight benefit was observed in a subset of patients.
A multi-centre, randomised, open label trial of 4-fold increase in ICS dose was undertaken. Increased ICS dose reduced severe asthma attacks by ~20%. However, a study of a 5-fold increase in ICS dose in children published at the same time showed no benefit. Prof. Harrison discusses the differences between the 2 trials, which may explain the different outcomes.
Prof. Tim Harrison is Professor and Honorary Consultant in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham.
His research explores the benefit of increasing the dose of inhaled steroids to prevent the development of asthma exacerbations. His research team is currently exploring the mechanisms for therapy resistant asthma and looking at new therapeutic options for these patients.
Prof. Harrison’s travel and refreshments for the event were supported by AstraZeneca.