European Respiratory Society

Emerging anti-inflammatory strategies for COPD

Mario Cazzola, Clive P. Page, Luigino Calzetta, M. Gabriella Matera


The hallmark of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an enhanced or abnormal inflammatory immune response of the lungs to inhaled particles and gases, usually from cigarette smoke, characterised by increased numbers of neutrophils, activated macrophages and activated T-lymphocytes (Tc1 and Th1 cells). Therefore, suppression of the inflammatory response is a logical approach to the treatment of COPD. Despite the inflammatory nature of COPD, currently available anti-inflammatory therapies provide little or no benefit in COPD patients and may have detrimental effects. For this reason, there is an urgent need to discover effective and safe anti-inflammatory treatments that might prevent the relentless progression of the disease. In recent years, attention has largely been focused on inhibition of recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells, and on antagonism of their products. In this review, we put together a summary of the state-of-the-art development of clearly and/or potentially useful anti-inflammatory strategies in COPD.


  • Statement of Interest

    None declared.

  • Received December 6, 2011.
  • Accepted March 5, 2012.
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