The research programme of E.H. Bel focuses on severe asthma, with a particular emphasis on phenotyping, pathophysiological mechanisms, monitoring and therapeutic approach.

In 2008-2013 the following projects have been carried out:

1. A clinical trial in patients with severe prednisone-dependent asthma to investigate the effect of the use of an internet application to taper the dose of prednisone to the lowest effective dose. The study showed that internet-guided tapering is superior to usual care. Study is published in N Engl J Med with E.H. Bel as first author.

2. A cohort study of 500 patients with adult-onset asthma. This cohort has been phenotyped by using cluster analysis, which showed that there are 3 main phenotypes of adult-onset asthma with different underlying mechanisms, therapeutic requirements and prognoses.

3. A cohort study of 160 patients with severe asthma admitted to the high-altitude asthma clinic in Davos. This study showed that high altitude treatment is one of the most successful therapies for patients with severe asthma

4. Start-up of studies to assess the role of coagulation in (severe) asthma

5. As work package leader of the prestigious EU-IMI U-BIOPRED project I published the international IMI consensus statement on the Definition and Diagnosis of Severe Asthma.

In 2014-2016 The following projects will be carried out:

1. A Prevalence study of difficult-to-treat and severe asthma in the Netherlands

2. A study on aggravating factors in patients with uncontrolled asthma

3. Longitudinal follow up of 3 cohorts of patients with severe/adult onset asthma to find
- predictors of poor outcome
- new asthma phenotypes
- stability of phenotypes over time intervention study with vitamin D in eosinophilic asthma

5. International clinical trials with innovative treatments (anti IL-4, anti IL-5, anti IL-13) in severe asthma

6. Completion of studies to evaluate the role of coagulation in (severe) asthma

7. Re-evaluation of the definition and phenotypes of severe asthma (workpackage 1 of the EU-IMI U-BIOPRED project)
Effective start/end date01/01/2013 → …

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