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Two-Year Outcomes for the Double-Blind, Randomized, Sham-Controlled Study of Targeted Lung Denervation in Patients with Moderate to Severe COPD: AIRFLOW-2

Authors Valipour A, Shah PL, Herth FJ, Pison C, Schumann C, Hübner RH, Bonta PI, Kessler R, Gesierich W, Darwiche K, Lamprecht B, Perez T, Skowasch D, Deslee G, Marceau A, Sciurba FC, Gosens R, Hartman JE, Conway F, Duller M, Mayse M, Norman HS, Slebos DJ

Received 12 June 2020

Accepted for publication 7 October 2020

Published 5 November 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 2807—2816


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Arschang Valipour,1 Pallav L Shah,2 Felix J Herth,3 Christophe Pison,4 Christian Schumann,5 Ralf-Harto Hübner,6 Peter I Bonta,7 Romain Kessler,8 Wolfgang Gesierich,9 Kaid Darwiche,10 Bernd Lamprecht,11 Thierry Perez,12 Dirk Skowasch,13 Gaetan Deslee,14 Armelle Marceau,15 Frank C Sciurba,16 Reinoud Gosens,17 Jorine E Hartman,18 Francesca Conway,2 Marina Duller,1 Martin Mayse,19 Holly S Norman,19 Dirk-Jan Slebos18 On behalf of the AIRFLOW-2 Trial Study Group

1Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Karl-Landsteiner-Institute for Lung Research and Pulmonary Oncology, Krankenhaus Nord-Klinik Floridsdorf, Vienna, Austria; 2Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and Imperial College, London, UK; 3Thoraxklinik, Department of Pneumology and Critical Care Medicine and Translational Lung Research Center Heidelberg (TLRCH), University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; 4CHU Grenoble Alpes, Service Hospitalier Universitaire Pneumologie Physiologie; Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France; 5Clinic of Pneumology, Thoracic Oncology, Sleep- and Respiratory Critical Care, Klinikverbund Allgaeu, Kempten and Immenstadt, Germany; 6Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Medizinische Klinik m. Schw. Infektiologie und Pneumologie, Campus Virchow, Berlin, Germany; 7Department of Respiratory Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 8Service de Pneumologie, Nouvel Hôpital Civil, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France; 9Asklepios-Fachkliniken Munich-Gauting, Comprehensive Pneumology Center Munich, Gauting, Germany; 10Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Section of Interventional Pneumology, Ruhrlandklinik - University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany; 11Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Kepler Universitatsklinikum GmbH, Linz, Austria; 12CHU de Lille – Hôpital Calmette, Lille, France; 13Department of Internal Medicine II - Cardiology/Pneumology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany; 14CHU de Reims, Hôpital Maison Blanche, Service de Pneumologie, Reims, France; 15Service de Pneumologie, Hôpital Universitaire Bichat, Paris, France; 16University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 17Department of Molecular Pharmacology, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 18Department of Pulmonary Diseases, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands; 19Nuvaira, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, USA

Correspondence: Dirk-Jan Slebos
Department of Pulmonary Diseases/Interventional Bronchoscopy AA11, University Medical Center Groningen, PO Box 30001, Groningen, the Netherlands
Tel +31 503612357
Fax +31503619320

Purpose: COPD exacerbations are associated with worsening clinical outcomes and increased healthcare costs, despite use of optimal medical therapy. A novel bronchoscopic therapy, targeted lung denervation (TLD), which disrupts parasympathetic pulmonary innervation of the lung, has been developed to reduce clinical consequences of cholinergic hyperactivity and its impact on COPD exacerbations. The AIRFLOW-2 study assessed the durability of safety and efficacy of TLD additive to optimal drug therapy compared to sham bronchoscopy and optimal drug therapy alone in subjects with moderate-to-severe, symptomatic COPD two years post randomization.
Patients and Methods: TLD was performed in COPD patients (FEV1 30– 60% predicted, CAT≥ 10 or mMRC≥ 2) in a 1:1 randomized, sham-controlled, double-blinded multicenter study (AIRFLOW-2) using a novel lung denervation system (Nuvaira, Inc., USA). Subjects remained blinded until their 12.5-month follow-up visit when control subjects were offered the opportunity to undergo TLD. A time-to-first-event analysis on moderate and severe and severe exacerbations of COPD was performed.
Results: Eighty-two subjects (FEV1 41.6± 7.4% predicted, 50.0% male, age 63.7± 6.8 yrs, 24% with prior year respiratory hospitalization) were randomized. Time-to-first severe COPD exacerbation was significantly lengthened in the TLD arm (p=0.04, HR=0.38) at 2 years post-TLD therapy and trended towards similar attenuation for moderate and severe COPD exacerbations (p=0.18, HR=0.71). No significant changes in lung function or SGRQ-C were found 2 years post randomization between groups.
Conclusion: In a randomized trial, TLD demonstrated a durable effect of significantly lower risk of severe AECOPD over 2 years. Further, lung function and quality of life remained stable following TLD.
Clinical Trial Registration: NCT02058459.

Keywords: COPD exacerbation, targeted lung denervation, bronchoscopy, COPD

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