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Newsletter – Autumn 2019

Lung Infection Research Update

Prof Brown’s team has had two papers on bronchiectasis published recently.

The first describes the rapid development of bronchiectasis in patients who have weakened immune systems due to haematological disease.  This includes information for around 80 patients about bronchiectasis caused by haematological disorders such as lymphoma, myeloma  or leukaemia. This is the largest number of these patients described in the medical literature, and is important as it makes other doctors aware that bronchiectasis develops very quickly in these patients and causes a lot of ill health; better awareness of the problem will make doctors much better at recognising these patients and referring them to specialist centres, such as UCLH.

The other paper on bronchiectasis uses computers and CT scans to measure the exact degree of the dilatation of the bronchi in patients with bronchiectasis.  The more dilated the bronchi the worse the bronchiectasis, but at present we can only really measure this by eye just looking at the CT scans, which is not very accurate. Using computer software to give an actual measurement for the severity of bronchial dilatation would be a significant breakthrough as it would allow us to follow what happens to a particular patient over time, and rapidly identify if things are getting worse.

Three research papers have also been published which describe new findings about how the commonest cause of pneumonia.

Streptococcus pneumoniae interacts with humans to cause infection.   They describe the mechanisms by which the human immune system recognises the presence of S. pneumoniae and then responds to cause inflammation that is necessary for controlling infection. They are basic science research which do not directly feed into clinical care, but help us better understand how diseases like pneumonia develop and could therefore be prevented.

  1. Jose R et al. De novo bronchiectasis in haematological malignancies. ERJ Open, in press 2019.
  2. Kin et al.  Reproducibility of an airway tapering measurement in computed tomography with application to bronchiectasis.’  J Medical Imaging, in press 2019.
  3. Weight CM, et al. Epithelial control of colonisation by Streptococcus pneumoniae at the human mucosal surface Nat Comms 2019 10(1):3060.
  4. Javan RR et al. Prophages and satellite prophages are widespread among Streptococcus species and may play a role in pneumococcal pathogenesis Nat Communications, in press 2019.
  5. Periselneris J et al. Relative contribution of extracellular and internalised bacteria to early macrophage pro-inflammatory responses to Streptococcus pneumoniae. mBio, in press 2019.

 

Holst Singers’ Charity Christmas Concert

Holst Singers Christmas Concert in aid of Bronchiectasis research at UCL

Friday 13th December 2019,  7.30pm, St Pancras Church

Tickets now on sale (£25 each) for a festive treat of traditional and contemporary seasonal music and readings.

The Holst Singers annual Christmas Concert to raise funds for bronchiectasis research at UCL will once again take place in the neo-classical setting of St Pancras Church (Euston Road NW1 2BA) on the edge of Bloomsbury, just a short distance from UCLH. As in previous years, Charlotte Green of BBC Radio 4 will delight us with readings and there will be audience carols as well as a feast of seasonal music performed by the Holst Singers.  Tickets will be available on the door, but to be sure of a place at what will be one of the most wonderful evenings of the year, booking tickets early is advisable.

For further information and tickets, please contact Jane Walker either by telephone 01732 366346 or by email missjanewalker@hotmail.com

Tickets are also available online by clicking this link https://bmchristmasconcert.bpt.me

Donation received from Profile Pharma, towards the costs of staging this concert

Visit our new Justgiving page

Breathing Matters has a brand new Justgiving page.  We have transferring to a campaign page under the UCLH Charity Justgiving Page.  The new link is: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/breathingmatters  This will save us on Justgiving fees for Breathing Matters, so more of your money goes directly to where it’s needed!

Please visit our new online donation page to donate, or to just have a look-see 🙂

Current open Justgiving pages on our old Justgiving Page will remain active, so you don’t need to do anything.

Together we can do more!

 

Autumn 2018 Newsletter – Answers to Pollution Quiz

 

Q: What % of Londoners live in areas exceeding the World Health Organisation recommended pollution levels?

A: 95%

 

Q: What is PM2.5?

A: PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about 3% the diameter of a human hair. Commonly written as PM2.5, particles in this category are so small that they can only be detected with an electron microscope.  Since they are so small and light, fine particles tend to stay longer in the air than heavier particles. This increases the chances of humans and animals inhaling them into the bodies.

 

Q: Which of the following can you do to help decrease levels of pollution?

  • Reduce car journeys.
  • Keep house temperature down.
  • Walk more.
  • Campaign for change.
  • All of the above.

A: All of the above.  Please do your best not to add to the pollution.

 

Charity Christmas Concert 7.12.18 – Get Your Ticket

Not long to our fabulous Christmas Carol Concert with the Holst Singers.  This popular concert will be taking place at a NEW VENUE this year, ST PANCRAS CHURCH in Euston on Friday, 7th December 2018 at 7.30pm.

St Pancras Church is a beautiful historic building which is 200 years old and has a Grade I listing from English Heritage, as an important early example of the Greek Revival architecture.  It is located opposite Euston Station and is a short skip and a hop from UCL and UCLH, and we are really excited to secure this new venue.

The Christmas Celebration will feature well-known traditional carols as well as more contemporary Christmas music.  The Holst Singers are one of Britain’s foremost choirs, described by the BBC as a leading chorus on the international stage. In concert, the choir is renowned for dramatic and engaging performances, described by The Times as interactive concert going at its most revelatory, while the BBC Music Magazine states that The Holst Singers sing with a ‘spell bounding sense of atmosphere and crystal-clear textures……..supremely musical’.

Our guest readers this year are well known BBC Presenters Charlotte Green and Brian Perkins. Charlotte Green has been a familiar voice on the radio for many years, including as a news reader for the Radio 4 Today programme, the presenter for the comedy programme The News Quiz, and currently as the reader for Quote….unquote. In 2013, she joined Classic FM and BBC Radio 5 Live, where she announces the football results. Brian Perkins was a senior news reader until 2003 and was a familiar voice on Radio 4 for many years.

There will be wine and mince pies available before and after the concert and during the interval.  Doors open at 7pm.

For tickets (£25) and further information, please contact Jane Walker tel: 01732 366346 or email missjanewalker@hotmail.com

 

Tickets are also available online from: https://bmholstsingersconcert.bpt.me

We hope you are able to join us for a feast of seasonal music and a most wonderful start to the festive season!

Donation received from Profile Pharma, towards the costs of staging this concert

Charity Christmas Concert

A Christmas Celebration with the Holst Singers

We are pleased to announce arrangements for our 2018 Christmas Concert with the Holst Singers in aid of bronchiectasis and lung infection research. The concert will be taking place at a NEW VENUE this year, ST PANCRAS CHURCH, Euston Road, NW1 2BA on Friday, 7th December at 7.30pm.

St Pancras Church is a beautiful historic building which is 200 years old and has a Grade I listing from English Heritage, as an important early example of the Greek Revival architecture.  It is located opposite Euston Station and is a short skip and a hop from UCL and UCLH, and we are really excited to secure this new venue.

The concert will feature well-known traditional carols as well as more contemporary Christmas music. The Holst Singers are one of Britain’s foremost choirs.  Our guest readers this year are well-known former BBC Radio 4 presenters, Charlotte Green and Brian Perkins.

The evening will comprise of a mixture of Christmas music performed by the choir, audience carols and seasonal readings.  There will be wine and mince pies available before and after the concert and during the interval.

For tickets (£25) and further information, please contact Jane Walker tel: 01732 366346 or email missjanewalker@hotmail.com

Tickets are also available online from: https://bmholstsingersconcert.bpt.me

We hope you are able to join us for a feast of seasonal music and a most wonderful start to the festive season!

Donation received from Profile Pharma, towards the costs of staging this concert

 

 

Jewellery Stalls

Our Breathing Matters’ stall this Friday 4th May 2018 is going to be our first Jewellery stall. The handmade bead jewellery has been very kindly donated to us by the family of one of Professor Brown’s patients. The lady had bronchiectasis and very sadly she has recently passed away. During her illness, she took up bead making as a hobby and the family thought the most fitting tribute would be donate her jewellery in the hope it could be sold to raise funds for Professor Brown’s research into bronchiectasis and lung infection. There will be a selection of necklaces, earrings and bracelets for the first stall…..there are over 150 items in total. 

The stall will be in the UCH atrium from 11.00 until 1pm this Friday 4th May 2018. 

Do come along to support this stall if you are in the London area.  We are hoping that Friday will be the first of many jewellery stalls.

 

 

 

Ride London 100 Places Now Available

Are you a keen cyclist and want a serious challenge?  How about doing the Prudential Ride London 100 on Sunday, 29th July 2018.

Ride London really is a true gem of an event starting at the iconic Olympic VeloPark in Lee Valley, cycling 100 miles of closed roads past London landmarks and through the stunning Surrey countryside (and hills!) and finishing in champion-style at the Mall outside Buckingham Palace!  It’s the UK’s largest world-class festival of cycling.

You don’t have to be an elite cyclist, however, and can choose a start time based at your level – you just need to be able to finish the course in under 9 hours and be over 18.  More info for riders can be found here.

Breathing Matters has a limited number of guaranteed places for this year’s event.  Registration is £50 and we ask that you raise £450 for Breathing Matters.  To sign up, email us at breathingmatters@ucl.ac.uk

The deadline for sign ups is Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, so don’t delay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bronchiectasis Newsround

 

Upcoming  News:

In April, a new research registrar, Dr Jocelyn Hall, will join the lung infection group for at least one year. She will be dividing her time between working with patients in the bronchiectasis clinic and on the ward, and starting some new research projects into bronchiectasis. In particular, she will be investigating how bronchiectasis affects the immune response to important causes of lung infection such as Streptococcus pneumoniae.  The Brown group has new methods of looking at how someone’s immune system recognises the bacteria and these will be used in patients with bronchiectasis to see whether there are any weaknesses in their ability to fight off lung bacteria that might mean they are more likely to get infections.

 

Research Paper:

In November, new UCL research into bronchiectasis findings were published in the European Respiratory Journal.  In this study by one of our previous research registrars Dr Arash Saleh and led by Dr John Hurst, we looked into risk factors for cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, angina and strokes) in patients with bronchiectasis. We previously published a paper using data from GP patient databases to show that people with bronchiectasis have roughly double the chance of having cardiovascular disease that would be expected. In the new paper, we have looked more closely at 101 people with bronchiectasis using a special ultrasound machine to measure the stiffness of the blood vessels in their arm.  What we found was that the arteries were stiffer than expected, especially in patients with reduced breathing capacity or frequent infective exacerbations. This is important as stiffer arteries are more likely to cause cardiovascular disease. Hence these results back up the previous epidemiology paper and further demonstrate that, as well as looking after the lungs, we need to think about reducing cardiovascular risk in patients with bronchiectasis.