What's Hot in 2015: Respiratory disease, Ebola
Two respiratory-related research developments caught my eye recently. The first, in Nature Reviews Immunology, looked at how unique and resident microbiota in lungs influence respiratory health. The second study, in Nature's Scientific Reports, offered a window of opportunity for using inhaled surfactant nanoparticles to deliver chemotherapy to lung cancer patients. Both sets of findings could change dramatically how we approach respiratory disease. In the former, it suggests we may need to consider the effectiveness and safety of new drugs in the context of specific lung microbiota. In the latter, treatment of people suffering from the world's leading cancer killer could be improved. Delivery of the anti-cancer drug to the lung tumor in engineered nanoparticles generated from endogenous lung surfactant would help avoid damage to healthy lung cells. On a different note, as we await the on Ebola vaccine candidates due sometime next year, it will be interesting to see whether the accelerated safety trial process could be used for other indications.