Research to help patients breathe easy on World Asthma Day

Tomorrow is World Asthma Day that aims to raise awareness of the common condition. More than 2 million Australians have asthma and for some patients the condition is not relieved by the use of commonly prescribed treatments and medications.

The AMAZES (Asthma and Marcolides: Azithromycin Efficacy and Safety) study is a nationwide, collaborative project. The National Health and Medical Research Council have contributed $2.9 million to the study that aims to fill the gaps in treatments for the various forms of asthma.

Professor Peter Gibson, a Conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle and a Respiratory Staff Specialist at John Hunter Hospital, said the research had the potential to significantly improve health outcomes for asthma patients.

“The theme of this year’s World Asthma Day is ‘You can control your asthma’. This is also the aim of the AMAZES study, to help asthma patients who gain little benefit from current treatments and often suffer periods when their symptoms are severe,” Professor Gibson said.

“The national study is testing the efficacy of adding an oral antibiotic to usual asthma therapy to help treat these patients.
“A small pilot study completed by our team of researchers has shown this complementary treatment does help reduce inflammation in the airways, but we need to broaden our research to better recommend this medication as a new therapy for various sub-types of asthma.”

The AMAZES study involves researchers from Newcastle, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney.

Professor Peter Gibson is the Co-Director of the University’s Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases and conducts research in collaboration with the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Viruses, Infections/Immunity, Vaccines and Asthma Research Program.

HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.
Another 300 non-smokers, over the age of 18, who experience asthma symptoms despite taking regular preventative medication, are needed to continue the research conducted by Professor Gibson and his team of researchers.

For more information contact AMAZES Study Coordinator, Calida Garside, on 4921 4965 or email [email protected]

Participants in the first round of the AMAZES study are available to discuss their experiences. Contact University of Newcastle Media and Public Relations Officer Leonie Brann on 02 4921 6856 or 0448 898 813.