New treatments - together with new and more aggressive uses of existing treatments - are urgently needed to manage the growing epidemic of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Promising classes of agents such as the selective phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors, which target fundamental pathophysiologic mechanisms such as inflammation and lung tissue remodeling, are now in late-stage clinical development. This article describes the expanding range of such targeted therapies for COPD and also reviews several innovative uses of existing therapies, such as long-acting or combination bronchodilators or drugs for muscle gain in high-risk underweight patients with COPD. In decades to come, the population of patients with symptomatic COPD will increase and the burden of disease on society will grow. Clinicians will have to manage this crisis by combining therapies and individualizing treatment as necessary to slow lung function-decline (eg, forced expiratory volume in 1 second) and also to improve key outcomes such as exacerbation frequency, exercise ability, and quality of life. As with many other chronic diseases, a multimodal treatment approach and an infusion of new mechanism-based therapies will be required to reverse long-standing trends of increased COPD morbidity and mortality.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Advanced Studies in Medicine|
|Issue number||5 B|
|State||Published - May 2003|
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