COPD: Providing the right treatment for the right patient at the right time

Author Department

Healthcare Quality

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common disease associated with significant morbidity and mortality that is both preventable and treatable. However, a major challenge in recognizing, preventing, and treating COPD is understanding its complexity. While COPD has historically been characterized as a disease defined by airflow limitation, we now understand it as a multi-component disease with many clinical phenotypes, systemic manifestations, and associated co-morbidities. Evidence is rapidly emerging in our understanding of the many factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of COPD and the identification of "early" or "pre-COPD" which should provide exciting opportunities for early treatment and disease modification. In addition to breakthroughs in our understanding of the origins of COPD, we are optimizing treatment strategies and delivery of care that are showing impressive benefits in patient-centered outcomes and healthcare utilization. This special issue of Respiratory Medicine, "COPD: Providing the Right Treatment for the Right Patient at the Right Time" is a summary of the proceedings of a conference held in Stresa, Italy in April 2022 that brought together international experts to discuss emerging evidence in COPD and Pulmonary Rehabilitation in honor of a distinguished friend and colleague, Claudio Ferdinando Donor (1948-2021). Claudio was a true pioneer in the field of pulmonary rehabilitation and the comprehensive care of individuals with COPD. He held numerous leadership roles in in the field, provide editorial stewardship of several respiratory journals, authored numerous papers, statement and guidelines in COPD and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and provided mentorship to many in our field. Claudio's most impressive talent was his ability to organize spectacular conferences and symposia that highlighted cutting edge science and clinical medicine. It is in this spirit that this conference was conceived and planned. These proceedings are divided into 4 sections which highlight crucial areas in the field of COPD: (1) New concepts in COPD pathogenesis; (2) Enhancing outcomes in COPD; (3) Non-pharmacologic management of COPD; and (4) Optimizing delivery of care for COPD. These presentations summarize the newest evidence in the field and capture lively discussion on the exciting future of treating this prevalent and impactful disease. We thank each of the authors for their participation and applaud their efforts toward pushing the envelope in our understanding of COPD and optimizing care for these patients. We believe that this edition is a most fitting tribute to a dear colleague and friend and will prove useful to students, clinicians, and researchers as they continually strive to provide the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. It has been our pleasure and a distinct honor to serve as editors and oversee such wonderful scholarly work.