On November 16, Philadelphia’s Westin Hotel was ground zero in the fight against Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) when many of the world’s leading lung specialists gathered for the first-ever Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) Care Continuum.
Held in collaboration with the Temple Lung Center, this high-profile, one-day international symposium attracted over 450 attendees and featured GOLD strategy authors who provided expert opinions on best practices for COPD management. The focus of the symposium was the initial presentation of the major revisions to the 2017 edition of the “Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management and Prevention of COPD.” This marks the first major revisions to these guidelines since 2011.
“We used to think there wasn’t much we could do for this disease, but we now know this isn’t true,” says Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FACCP, Professor and Chair of the Department of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University and a GOLD report author and GOLD board member. “There’s still no cure, but we have a number of therapies now that can treat the disease and improve a patient’s quality of life.”
Temple had a huge presence at the symposium. As the host, Dr. Criner opened and closed the event and gave a presentation about the new GOLD refined algorithms outlining strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COPD. Conference rooms were heavily branded with Temple Lung Center signage and Temple’s Center for Inflammation, Translational and Clinical Lung Research had a table that showcased its work. Additionally, Temple’s clinical research team had a table that highlighted the many COPD clinical trials currently offered at the hospital.
Founded in 1997, GOLD works with medical professionals and public health officials to raise awareness of COPD, improve prevention efforts, promote research, recommend management strategies, and advance treatment options for patients around the world. The end goal: decrease morbidity and mortality from this deadly disease.
“I’ve been treating COPD patients for 33 years, and the research has moved faster in the last three to five years than it’s ever moved,” said Dr. Criner. “This conference provided an exceptional opportunity to learn, network, share knowledge and ideas, establish collaborative projects, and set priorities in the management of COPD.”
COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and the 14th leading cause of disability worldwide.