Boston Scientific recently acquired Asthmatx, a company that developed the Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System for asthma control in patients with severe cases of the disease. The device is thought to reduce the amount of smooth muscles in small to medium size airways, making them less reactive. Now, results of the AIR2 Trial, a two year study of the Alair system, have been presented at the CHEST 2010 meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Vancouver.
From a Boston Sci press statement:
The 32 percent reduction in severe exacerbations and 84 percent reduction in emergency room visits for respiratory symptoms observed at one year in patients treated with BT compared to a control group that received a sham procedure remained comparable out to two years.
Bronchial thermoplasty is a bronchoscopic procedure routinely performed under moderate sedation with patients typically returning home the same day. The Alair® System delivers precisely controlled thermal energy to the airway wall to reduce excessive airway smooth muscle. The procedure decreases the ability of the airways to constrict, thereby reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.
The AIR2 Trial is a multi-center, randomized, sham-controlled clinical study designed to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of bronchial thermoplasty in adult patients with severe asthma that remains poorly controlled despite treatment with standard asthma medications. Positive safety and effectiveness data at one year post-bronchial thermoplasty were published in the January 2010 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Press release: Bronchial Thermoplasty Demonstrates Long-Term Asthma Control in Patients With Severe Asthma …
Flashbacks: Bronchial Thermoplasty Does Well in AIR2 Trial;Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System Receives FDA Approval ; FDA Panel Recommends Bronchial Thermoplasty Approval for Select Patients; Alair System May Become Option for Asthmatics; The Alair System for Bronchial Thermoplasty