American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
The theme of this yearâ€™s meeting was: â€œProud of Our Past â€“ Preparing for Our Future.â€ President-elect and program chair Stanley M. Fineman, MD, MBA, FACAAI, explained that the theme was chosen as â€œthis year is the centennial anniversary of immunotherapy, and we also must have the tools to evolve into the future.â€ The meetingâ€™s overall objectives included identifying major advances in key areas of cutting-edge research in immunologic mechanisms and allergic responses; demonstrating knowledge of basic processes linking molecular and cellular biology and genetics with allergic pathophysiology and immunodeficiency; evaluating the impact of new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies on health care costs and outcomes; among others.
Although categorizing chronic rhinosinusitis is complex, CRS with or without nasal polyps is one way to initially begin classification. Prolonged duration of RS symptoms (>8-12 weeks) is the primary reason to evaluate patients for CRS. Dr. Meltzer emphasized the need to differentiate CRS from recurrent episodes of ARS.
There are conflicting data regarding whether vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for asthma. Observational studies have linked low vit D status with impaired lung capacity, increased airway hyperresponsiveness, corticosteroid unresponsiveness, relatively poor asthma control, and higher rates of asthma-related hospitalization.
The incidence of allergic disease has risen 50 percent each decade since the 1960s, according to Phillip Lieberman, MD, FACAAI, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics (Divisions of Allergy and Immunology) at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.
During the Ira Finegold Lecture, Thomas B. Casale, MD, FACAAI, professor of medicine at Creghton University School of Medicine, spoke about the role that diet and supplement can have on immune therapy. "For allergies, the immune system could be trained to ignore allergens like pollen and cat dander but still fight bacterial pathogens," he said.
Asthma and allergy patients would benefit from their physician taking a closer look at immunology, said M. Louise Markert, MD, PhD, Associate Professor at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, during a plenary session at the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology's annual meeting.