Image1_Breathomics for Assessing the Effects of Treatment and Withdrawal With Inhaled Beclomethasone/Formoterol in Patients With COPD.pdf

Background: Prospective pharmacological studies on breathomics profiles in COPD patients have not been previously reported. We assessed the effects of treatment and withdrawal of an extrafine inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)-long-acting β2-agonist (LABA) fixed dose combination (FDC) using a multidimensional classification model including breathomics.

Methods: A pilot, proof-of-concept, pharmacological study was undertaken in 14 COPD patients on maintenance treatment with inhaled fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (500/50 μg b.i.d.) for at least 8 weeks (visit 1). Patients received 2-week treatment with inhaled beclomethasone dipropionate/formoterol (100/6 μg b.i.d.) (visit 2), 4-week treatment with formoterol alone (6 μg b.i.d.) (visit 3), and 4-week treatment with beclomethasone/formoterol (100/6 μg b.i.d.) (visit 4). Exhaled breath analysis with two e-noses, based on different technologies, and exhaled breath condensate (EBC) NMR-based metabolomics were performed. Sputum cell counts, sputum supernatant and EBC prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and 15-F2t-isoprostane, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide, and spirometry were measured.

Results: Compared with formoterol alone, EBC acetate and sputum PGE2, reflecting airway inflammation, were reduced after 4-week beclomethasone/formoterol. Three independent breathomics techniques showed that extrafine beclomethasone/formoterol short-term treatment was associated with different breathprints compared with regular fluticasone propionate/salmeterol. Either ICS/LABA FDC vs. formoterol alone was associated with increased pre-bronchodilator FEF25−75% and FEV1/FVC (P = 0.008–0.029). The multidimensional model distinguished fluticasone propionate/salmeterol vs. beclomethasone/formoterol, fluticasone propionate/salmeterol vs. formoterol, and formoterol vs. beclomethasone/formoterol (accuracy > 70%, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Breathomics could be used for assessing ICS treatment and withdrawal in COPD patients. Large, controlled, prospective pharmacological trials are required to clarify the biological implications of breathomics changes. EUDRACT number: 2012-001749-42.