Scientific conferences 2014
In the course of 2014 PHA Europe representatives were present at the two largest events in the fields of cardiology and respiratory medicine. The 2014 annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology was held in Barcelona (Spain) from August 30 to September 3 and was attended by 30,000 participants from all over the world. The annual congress of the European Respiratory Society was held in Munich from September 6 to 10 and was the largest to date, with 22,000 delegates. It was very encouraging to see not only that a number of sessions at both congresses were dedicated to pulmonary arterial hypertension and to chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH), featuring some of world’s leading experts as speakers or chairpersons, but also that these sessions were extremely well attended. There were additionally numerous poster presentations which covered the clinical aspects of PAH as well as quality of life and emotional (eg. depression) issues.
The main highlight of the ERS congress for the PH community was the presentation of the results of AMBITION, a large, long term clinical trial investigating the benefits of “upfront” combination therapy with Ambrisentan-Volibris, an “ERA”, and Tadalafil-Adcirca, a “PDE-5 inhibitor” which acts on the nitric oxide pathway (see section on Therapies). Previous studies had analysed only “sequential” combination therapy, where patients start with one drug and a second one is added at a later stage if treatment goals are not met. Three of these studies have proven substantial benefits sustained over time. The AMBITION study shows even more dramatic improvements, with a 50 percent reduction in risk of clinical failure in the group having received both drugs right from the start, as opposed to the ones on monotherapy. The rationale of this new approach is that the severity of the disease and its progressive nature may justify a more aggressive “hit early, hit hard” strategy. It will be interesting to see how these new findings will translate into future treatment management. Upfront combination therapy could potentially become the new standard of care for PAH.
For full report see the Winter 2014 Mariposa Journal, page 7.
In the course of 2014 PHA Europe representatives were also present at a number of other scientific conferences, workshops, roundtables and media events, see Winter 2014 Mariposa Journal, pages 4-6.