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Research result amazes

Wednesday 30 August 2017

A national investigator-initiated clinical trial has found a new treatment for uncontrolled asthma.

Professor Ian Yang and researcher Janet Shaw.
Professor Ian Yang and researcher Janet Shaw

Researchers from The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) took part in the AMAZES study that compared an anti-inflammatory antibiotic (azithromycin) to placebo.

Director of Thoracic Medicine at TPCH, Professor Ian Yang said TPCH studied 100 volunteers, each for 12 months during the trial. The research focussed on reducing lung inflammation in people with asthma, whose asthma was not controlled by standard inhaled medicine.

“The study found that azithromycin reduced the rate of asthma attacks by 40 per cent over the 12 months, compared to placebo,” Prof. Yang said. “People on active treatment had improved quality of life, which is important for their overall wellbeing.”

AMAZES is the largest asthma study to date worldwide for this class of treatment. The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council and led by the University of Newcastle. Eight hospitals recruited a total of 420 participants.

“This treatment is already used in cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis, and now is a potential new option in asthma,” Prof. Yang said.

“Resistance to antibiotics was carefully considered, because of the long duration of treatment. Fortunately the rate of respiratory tract infections was actually reduced.”

The AMAZES project was part of a broader program of research to improve lung health conducted by researchers at TPCH. The study was published in The Lancet, a highly ranked international medical journal.

Last updated: 29 August 2017