Eosinophils, Cytokines, and Clinical Manifestations of EGPA

This activity is part of a series


Michael E. Wechsler, MD, MMSc
Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Director, The Cohen Family Asthma Institute
National Jewish Health
Denver, CO
Michael E. Wechsler, MD, MMSc

Michael E. Wechsler is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at National Jewish Health (NJH) in Denver, Director of the NJH/Cohen Family Asthma Institute, and Associate Vice President for Innovation and Industry Relations at NJH. In addition to clinical work in pulmonary and critical care medicine, Professor Wechsler’s research focuses on clinical and translational asthma with emphasis on clinical trials in asthma, novel asthma therapies, bronchial thermoplasty, asthma pharmacogenomics, and management of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (i.e. Churg-Strauss Syndrome). He has led studies focusing on novel biologic agents for asthma and related diseases, including benralizumab, dupilumab, mepolizumab, reslizumab, and tezepelumab. He has published more than 270 peer-reviewed manuscripts relating to asthma, EGPA, and eosinophilic lung diseases. He was a member of the Steering Committee and site Principal Investigator (PI) of the NIH-sponsored Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN, now called AsthmaNet), a multicenter asthma clinical trials consortium, and currently serves as the PI of the Denver site of the Precision Intervention in Severe/Exacerbating Asthma (PRECISE) network. A member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, he has participated in many different task forces related to the study of eosinophilic lung diseases that were sponsored by the NIH, the FDA, the European Respiratory Society, and the International Eosinophil Society. He is currently Associate Editor of the journal Chest and has served as Associate Editor of the journal Allergy and on the editorial board of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Dr. Wechsler received AB and MMSc degrees from Harvard University in Boston and an MD degree from McGill University in Montreal. He completed medical training at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and as part of the Harvard Combined Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship Training Program.</br.

Praveen Akuthota, MD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep Medicine, & Physiology
University of California San Diego
San Diego, CA
Praveen Akuthota, MD

Dr. Akuthota’s research efforts range from basic scientific investigations of human eosinophil biology and eosinophilic inflammation to clinical and translational efforts in asthma and eosinophilic pulmonary disease. He is the corresponding Principal Investigator for the University of California San Diego Clinical Center in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s PrecISE Network that will be studying precision interventions in severe asthma. He is a co-investigator on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing the efficacy of anti-IL-5 therapy in the treatment of Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA, also known as Churg Strauss Syndrome). His research group is involved in other multicenter studies in eosinophilic disease and asthma. Basic science investigations from Dr. Akuthota focus on ex vivo studies of human eosinophils and include published work studying eosinophil trafficking and work studying microparticle release by eosinophils. He has written several reviews and chapters discussing eosinophil immunobiology and clinical considerations in eosinophilic diseases. Dr. Akuthota is an At-Large Member of the Board of Directors of the International Eosinophil Society (eosinophil-society.org). 

Statement of Need

Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is one of the rarest forms of vasculitis with primary manifestations of moderate-to-severe asthma and peripheral eosinophilia. Increases in interleukin (IL)-5, a principal eosinophil-mobilizing cytokine, result in eosinophilic inflammation and tissue damage. Combined effects of vascular inflammation and eosinophil infiltration of tissues result in cumulative end-organ damage leading to significant patient morbidity. Pharmacologic neutralization of IL-5 decreases eosinophil counts and can lead to disease remission. Lack of disease awareness and overlap of symptoms with other common conditions often results in delayed recognition and treatment of EGPA.

During this CMEO Snack, Drs. Wechsler and Akuthota will use 3-D models to discuss the pathophysiology and clinical course of EGPA, including eosinophilic manifestations of the disease and the effect of anti-IL-5 therapy on eosinophil activity in EGPA.

Learning Objective

Evaluate the pathophysiology and clinical course of EGPA.

Financial Support

This educational activity is supported by an educational grant from GSK.

Target Audience

Physicians, physician associates (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs), nurses, and pharmacists specializing in rheumatology, allergy/immunology, pulmonology, nephrologist, internal medicine, and primary care medicine.

Credit Information

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Activity UAN: JA0007185-0000-23-015-H01-P

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It is the policy of CME Outfitters, LLC, to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, and scientific rigor and integrity in all of their CE activities. Faculty must disclose to the participants any relationships with commercial companies whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, or with the commercial supporter of this CE activity. CME Outfitters, LLC, has evaluated, identified, and mitigated any potential conflicts of interest through a rigorous content validation procedure, use of evidence-based data/research, and a multidisciplinary peer review process.

Dr. Wechsler reports the following financial relationships:

Advisory Board/Consultant: Amgen Inc.; AstraZeneca; Avalo Therapeutics, Inc.; Boehringer Ingelheim; Cerecor Inc.; Cohero Health, Inc.; CytoReason LTD; Eli Lilly and Company; Equillium Bio; GSK; Incyte; Kinaset Therapeutics; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Om Pharma; Phylaxis Bioscience, LLC; PULMATRiX, Inc.; RAPT Therapeutics; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Restorbio; Roche/Genentech, Inc.; Sanofi/Genzyme.; Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc.; Sound Biologics; Tetherex Pharmaceuticals; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; and Upstream Bio

Research Support: Amgen Inc.; AstraZeneca; Avalo Therapeutics, Inc.; GSK; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.; and Sanofi/Genzyme

Speakers Bureau: AstraZeneca; GSK; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.; and Sanofi

Dr. Akuthota reports the following financial relationships:

Advisory Board: AstraZeneca and GSK

Consultant: AstraZeneca; GSK; and Sanofi

Research Support: AstraZeneca; GSK; Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.; and Sanofi

Disclosures were obtained from the CME Outfitters, LLC staff: No disclosures to report:

  • Michael Franks, APRN, AGACNP-BC, FNP-BC (peer reviewer)
  • Thomas Mitchell (planning committee)
  • Kasey Brandt, PharmD (planning committee)
  • Susan H. Yarbrough, CHCP (planning committee)
  • Sandra Caballero, PharmD (planning committee)
  • Sharon Tordoff (planning committee)

Faculty of this CE activity may include discussions of products or devices that are not currently labeled for use by the FDA. The faculty have been informed of their responsibility to disclose to the audience if they will be discussing off-label or investigational uses (any uses not approved by the FDA) of products or devices.

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Eosinophils, Cytokines, and Clinical Manifestations of EGPA
Event Date: 05/31/2023 at 4:00 am EST