Alternative approaches for the treatment of Asthma and COPD: Focus on Cell-based therapies, Epigenetics, and Gene silencing approaches

Sibtain Afzal, Khushnooda Ramzan, Ahmed Bilal Waqar


Despite many organized health initiatives and critically acclaimed guidelines for proper management of asthma therapy, there is still a large population of severe asthmatics having an uncontrolled disease. Severe persistent asthma, characterized by chronic airway inflammation, increased eosinophils and serum IgE is currently managed by using inhaled corticosteroids. It is quite challenging to get the best treatment guidelines for bronchial asthma in severe asthmatics, particularly in the presence of steroid resistance and the non-responsiveness to β-agonists. For that purpose, other methodologies are required to reverse the uncontrolled airway remodeling in steroid-resistant severe asthma. These advanced alternative approaches should be able to treat asthma symptoms and to improve the inflammatory conditions underlying characteristic pathological features of asthma. The current review focuses and summarizes the alternative approaches used in severe asthma patients. Agents targeting inflammatory cytokines, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, antibodies, oligonucleotides, stem cells, and target drug delivery using gene silencing, offer promise in treating severe asthma.

Keywords: Asthma; COPD; Therapies; Epigenetics; Gene silencing

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