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Sampson AP, Church MK. Anti-inflammatory drugs in asthma. ISBN 3-7643-5873-4: Birkhauser, 1999, 288 pp.

This is the most recent volume of the Progress in Inflammatory Research series published by Birkhauser. The authors have brought together experts on existing and prospective drugs for asthma. A chapter has even been added on β2-agonists, which are not anti-inflammatory drugs per se, although there is a direct link between inflammation and airway obstruction. This book is an up-to-date survey of numerous types of drugs including corticosteroids, phosphodiesterases, mast-cell stabilizers, antileukotrienes, immunomodulators and anti-IgE agents, mast-cell protease antagonists, and cytokine and adhesion molecule antagonists. The book starts with an excellent chapter on the pathophysiology of asthma which clearly and with great originality sets out the targets for all inflammatory drugs. The debate on whether we need new drugs for asthma or a better intake of existing drugs is not the topic of this book. Nor is it management guidelines for the diseases.

The fields of inflammation and asthma are moving so quickly that such a book is of tremendous interest.