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The following appeared in the

APSR Newsletter

Vol. 11, No. 1, 2002

7th APSR Congress

October 25-28, 2002 Taipei, Taiwan

Kwen-Tay Luh
Congress President of the 7th APSR Congress

The APSR cordially invites you to attend the coming 7th APSR in Taipei, from October 25 to 28, 2002. All participants are encouraged to enjoy the extensive scientific and serial programs of the Congress, which have been designed to improve friendship and professional collaboration among physicians in the Asian Pacific Region.

The scientific program contains four keynote speeches, four workshops and 12 symposia designed to cover important issues regarding the progress of respiratory medicine in this region. The main themes include: respiratory medicine in the postgenomic era, the latest progress in the treatment of asthma and COPD, new aspects in the management of patients with pulmonary infections, advances in therapy for lung cancer and pleural diseases, and progress in critical care medicine. More than 70 local and regional experts, as well as leading clinicians and scientists from Europe and the United States have been invited to participate. In addition to these extensive programs both oral communications and poster presentation sessions will be held. Sponsored symposia on new therapies for asthma, COPD and respiratory infection are also scheduled.

Taipei is one of the fastest growing cities in Asia, and retains a rich Chinese cultural heritage. A range of interesting and various optional social programs have been arranged to provide the opportunity for all participants to experience the wealth of fascinating sites and experiences of our island. Participants and their accompanying guests are also invited to the opening ceremony to be held on October 25, and the farewell party on October 27, at the Grand Hotel, a magnificent historic landmark of Taiwan.

The preparations for the Congress are going smoothly and active participation of physicians and scientists from all membership countries of the APSR is highly anticipated.

The Organizing Committee is honored to fulfil its role in the 7th APSR Congress and we are especially looking forward to meeting you in Taipei.

For further information, registration forms and hotel accommodation forms, please contact the Congress Secretariat at General Innovation Service by telephone at +886 2 2346 3686 or by fax at +886 2 2346 3626. We may also be reached by e-mail at apsr@convention.com.tw

International Cooperation on Our New Era of Expansion

Message from the APSR President

Shiro Kira
President, APSR

As can be recognized from the Third Announcement of the Congress Secretariat, the organization of the 7th APSR Congress is steadily progressing due to the great efforts of Prof. Kwen-Tay Luh, the Congress President, and his associates. We are thankful for their extensive preparations for the Congress and anticipate an extremely fruitful Congress with sufficient numbers of participants not only from member countries in the region, but also from all over the world. I believe this Congress is especially important, because from this year the Congress will be held annually. After the 7th Congress in Taipei this coming October, we will have the 8th Congress in Malaysia 2003, and the 9th Congress in Hong Kong 2004. These annual Congresses will offer increased opportunities for presentations of our research and clinical work, as well as mutual communication and discussion among our members. This surely will promote our activities as the Society of Respirology in the Asian Pacific region. I also anticipate that we will have to increase the frequency of our journal Respirology from quarterly to bi-monthly publication in the very near future because of the expansion of the activities of our society and the increased paper flow.

As all of you realize, we, specialists in lung health from all over the world, had a successful world Congress on lung health under the joint collaboration of the ERS, APSR, ATS and IUATLD in the year 2000 in Florence, Italy. Since then, a new attempt to create an international forum for the thoracic societies of the world has started, and meetings for the discussion how to construct the forum have already been held; twice in Geneva in January and in Atlanta this May on the occasion of the 2002 ATS meeting. Discussion is now continuing among representatives from the ATS, ACCP, APSR, ERS, ALAT and IUATLD. Further details will be announced soon, but I believe it will be a very unique opportunity for the future cooperation and development of the world thoracic societies. It is really an important and new development for chest physicians all over the world. To form such an international organization has been the sincere and important desire of the members of the steering committee that first met to organize the APSR in 1983.

The third point I would like to inform you about is the future cooperation between the APSR and the ACCP. We all recognize and are extremely thankful to the ACCP for their contribution to chest medicine in this region, especially in the era of the confusion after the last world war. After the establishment of the APSR in 1988, we have continued discussion between the two societies, about how to cooperate with each other, because it is very complicated and financially difficult to have two concurrent activities by the APSR and APCDC, which was supported by the ACCP. Recently we received a very friendly and stimulating proposal from Prof. Sidney Braman, the President of the ACCP that they had reached a decision to cooperate with the APSR in our region on an equal standpoint with the ATS, ERS and IUATLD and eventually discontinue the activity of the APCDC. The discussion is now ongoing between the two societies. I am sure we will soon be able to announce a new joint statement from both the APSR and ACCP. This will be a reaffirmation of our friendship and respective plans for cooperation toward the future development of chest medicine in the world as well as in the Asian Pacific region.

Message from the Chairman of the 8th APSR Congress

Malaysia 17 - 20 July 2003

Chong-Kin Liam
University of Malaya

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Malaysia will host the 8th Congress of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) in Kuala Lumpur, and invite you to attend this event from 17-20 July 2003.

Respiratory diseases are an important challenge for clinicians worldwide and the Asian Pacific region is no exception. It is therefore timely that the theme of the 8th APSR congress is 'An Evidence-based Approach to the Management of Respiratory Diseases in the Asian Pacific Region'.

The congress will have the privilege of a faculty of speakers and experts in their field from this region and also from Europe and the United States to address the many pertinent issues in Respiratory Medicine. The scientific programme will also include the participation of our paediatric respiratory colleagues. Major symposia will cover topics of importance such as asthma, COPD, respiratory infections, tuberculosis, the lung in HIV infection, lung cancer, interstitial lung disease, pleural diseases, sleep-related breathing disorders, lung transplantation and others.

Free papers will be presented in the form of oral communications and poster discussions. This congress will therefore provide an opportunity for all health care providers involved in Respiratory Medicine of the Asian Pacific region to come together for the exchange of scientific information, ideas and regional collaboration.

The venue of the congress is the Shangri-la Hotel, which is situated in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Accommodation has been reserved in a range of quality hotels within walking distance of the congress venue. Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant city to visit and I am certain participants of the congress will enjoy the old and new excitements it has to offer. With only a little effort, participants can visit the rest of Malaysia that boasts a rich multicultural heritage and natural beauty.

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I would like to again invite you to join us for this major regional event and I am sure you will also enjoy the hospitality Malaysia has to offer.

For further information and registration kindly contact the Congress Secretariat:
Tel: +603 2093 0200
Fax: +603 2093 0900
Email: acadmed@jaring.po.my

4th World Asthma Meeting

16-19 February 2004 Bangkok, Thailand

Chaivej Nuchprayoon
Chairman, Thailand Co-Hosts Committee

Suchai Charoenratanakul
Chairman, International Organizing Committee

The Kingdom of Thailand is proud and honored to host the 4th Triennial World Asthma Meeting 2004, in Bangkok in February 2004.

After Barcelona 1998, and Chicago 2001, it is now Bangkok's honor to host this important World Congress. We are confident that hosting the World Asthma Meeting 2004 in Bangkok will have a very positive effect on the sufferers of this disease in Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Hosting this event in Bangkok is of great importance and will benefit Southeast Asia as a whole. The numbers tell a story: asthma is a very common disease in Thailand, with a prevalence of about 5 to 13% in both adults and children. This means that there are about 3 to 4 million asthma patients in the Kingdom, all of who need medical attention of some sort. Several key factors may come to play in evaluating asthma occurrence in Southeast Asia. Higher temperatures and humidity are one. The observation that 15 of the world's 20 most populated and polluted cities are located in Asia, where children are exposed to unhealthy air quality from birth, is another.

Although asthma is a worldwide problem that deserves more public attention, hosting the World Asthma Meeting 2004 in Thailand will have a strong and positive effect on the awareness of the disease in Southeast Asia.

We would like to take this great opportunity to invite and encourage all industry professionals from all over the world to meet and share the same goal of strengthening the worldwide expertise, broadening the knowledge and contributing to easing the suffering of many millions of people. Please do not miss the chance to discover what the World Asthma Meeting 2004 and Thailand have to offer.

We look forward to welcoming you to Bangkok.

Message from the Associate Editor

Richard Ruffin
Associate Editor

Thank you for the opportunity of writing to the membership of the APSR. I have enjoyed my short association with Respirology. I would like this communication to focus on the potential purposes of publications in Respirology and how we might ultimately achieve better outcomes for our patients within the Asia Pacific region. I think that the purpose of Respirology is to provide a forum for promoting awareness of disease and the burden of disease; promoting the development of new investigations and their validation; and providing information that is going to improve practice. Therefore the use of case presentations can promote awareness but are unlikely to influence practice. Thus I think we need to have a focus on looking at our practices and deciding where we have evidence to show that we are being effective. If the evidence for our practice is not there, we should be then taking up the challenge to design clinical trials, which are going to provide the evidence for our practice.

This could be as simple as the validity of clinical signs in respiratory medicine. Projects could be undertaken at institutional or regional levels.

There are many aspects that do not require high technology to undertake, but will provide important knowledge to improve our practice and our patient outcomes.

Another area that we need to look at is the uptake of accepted guidelines. Therefore we need audits, and to look at barriers that prevent people from following guidelines. There are likely to be variations within the Asia Pacific region and is something that then can improve local practice.

I would therefore urge clinicians to take up the challenge to extend their research efforts into providing evidence that is going to improve our practice. The results need to be shared by publication in Respirology.

Progress Report on Respirology - 2001

Philip Thompson

It is now a year and a half since the Editorial Office for Respirology was transferred from Tokyo to Perth, and I took over as Editor-in-Chief. I would like to report on the progress made during 2001, and the plans for the future.

Prof Richard Ruffin has settled into his role as Associate Editor, taking over from myself when I took on the task of Editor-in-Chief. Also appointed during the year as Associate Editor (Paediatrics) was Dr Stephen Stick. As a result, it is hoped that Respirology will come to be seen as the journal of choice for articles on respiratory illness in children. In the future it is hoped to appoint further specialist Associate Editors in the areas of Cardiothoracic Surgery as well as in Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The number of manuscripts received during the year is running at a similar rate to last year. One hundred and six new manuscripts were submitted in 2001, compared with 111 in 2000. Manuscripts were submitted from 21 countries. The majority (70%) continue to be from the Asia Pacific region, but contributions were also received from USA, Europe and the Middle East.

The acceptance rate has remained steady at just over 50%, but there has been a significant improvement in the lead times, that is the number of days from a manuscript being received at the Editorial Office to being accepted. The table below highlights this:










This has been made possible in part by the adoption of specialised computer software for tracking articles, issuing reminders and maintaining a close watch on progress. We are investigating the option of on-line submission and review. There are considerable advantages in terms of speedier communication, reduced postage costs, security (some manuscripts arrive in poor condition) and the ability of the authors, referees and editors to check on the progress of their manuscript. This of course has to be balanced against the availability and reliability of internet facilities in some parts of the world.

As a way of thanking the referees who generously give their time to review manuscripts, Blackwell Publishing, at the Editor's request, has this year offered referees one year's on-line subscription to Respirology via Blackwell Synergy. The feedback so far has been very positive, and in addition to being a tangible 'thank you', increases the profile of the Journal.

Blackwell Publishing has also made available free access to Respirology via Blackwell Synergy for all members of APSR. Members will have received notification direct from Blackwell Publishing advising how they can log on to the Synergy website.

Plans for the future include applying to the ISI (Institute for Scientific Information) for assessment. ISI is a United States based company, which produces Current Contents. A successful application would mean that the Journal would be given an impact factor. Letters of recommendation from high-profile respiratory specialists not directly associated with the Journal will be sought to support the application.

It is planned to run a series of review articles on a variety of topics. The first two will be 'Tobacco and Lung Disease' and 'Important Cells in Lung Disease'. Your ideas for topics for future review series, and authors for articles in these series, will be warmly welcomed.

Discussions are underway with Blackwell Publishing to finalise a 'Conflict of Interest Disclaimer' for use by authors, referees and editorial staff. We have established a policy of not sending a manuscript for review to the same town from which it originated. However, conflict of interest can be much broader than knowing the authors or their institution.

May I encourage you all to consider Respirology for publishing your work and that of your colleagues, and to especially consider quoting articles published in the Journal as we work our way towards obtaining an impact factor rating.

Numbers of manuscripts submitted by country in 2001:

Hong Kong4
New Zealand2
Saudi Arabia1

Relationship Between National Thoracic Societies and the APSR

Extract of a discussion paper by N. Berend
TSANZ (The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand)

Most countries in the Asian Pacific region and certainly all countries currently affiliated with the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology have a National Thoracic Society, in some cases more than one society, with membership of Respiratory Physicians.

The issues of tobacco-related disease and infectious lung disease need regional and global solutions. The regional respiratory societies in North America (ATS), Latin America (ALAT), Europe (ERS) and the Asian Pacific (APSR), are endeavouring to promote collaborative research and sharing of information across national boundaries. Indeed, these societies are now collaborating to host global meetings to address these issues. To assist such endeavours the Forum of International Respiratory Societies is being formed.
It is clearly important that the Thoracic Societies of each member country of APSR have the opportunity to participate fully in these activities.

The benefits of official affiliation with the APSR could be many. The APSR's journal, Respirology, could publish abstracts of national Thoracic Society meetings, become an effective vehicle for publication of scientific work for the region, and could facilitate communication between national societies. It may be possible to develop regional scholarships and fellowships with enhanced opportunities for student exchanges, seminars, workshops and meetings. By amalgamating subscription fees, every member of the national Society could become a member of the APSR.

Considerable discussion would need to ensue to develop mutually acceptable mechanisms and rules of such affiliations and some changes in the Constitutions or Articles of Association may be required.

The JRS (The Japanese Respiratory Society) and the APSR

Dr. Y. Fukuchi
Secretary General of the APSR

The APSR has been in existence more than 15 years as an authentic academic organization in the Asian Pacific Region. As such it has begun to earn more appropriate recognition from the international forum of respiratory societies in the world

It is gratifying to witness this increase in prestige for the APSR, yet not every officer of the society is satisfied with the accomplishment. You could ask why this is. Perhaps one critical answer seems to be the very small membership numbers in comparison to the assumed volume of medical professionals in this part of the world. The membership is key to every attainable activity of the society regarding finance, education and standard of respiratory science. Accordingly strategies focusing on a steady increase of the membership are of utmost importance to the further development of the APSR.

In this issue of the Newsletter, Professor Norbert Berend provides a critical review of the relationship between this Society and national societies of the membership countries. The Japanese Respiratory Society has taken up this line of movement by the APSR and started serious discussions to search for an appropriate means by which JRS members can join the APSR en block. The JRS now waits for the APSR to offer options to the member societies to enable them to commit further without experiencing conflicts within their own membership.

I strongly believe that the APSR should propose practical as well as acceptable schemes by which national societies can accommodate them. We should not delay and decisive action must be initiated at the next Executive Meeting in Taipei.

Report from the Secretariat

Meetings during the ATS International Conference 17 - 22 May 2002

Meetings were held during the ATS International Conference 17-22 May 2002 in Atlanta. These included a WAM 2004 Bangkok meeting, a Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) meeting, an ATS/APSR meeting and an ACCP/APSR meeting.

Dr. Suchai Charoenratanakul presented the first announcement and reported the status of the WAM 2004 Bangkok, in Thailand. The International Program Committee will consist of 12-14 representatives from AAAAI, ACCP, APSR, ATS, EAACI, ERS, GINA and IUATLD. The first draft of the Scientific Program will be ready and circulated in October 2002, the second Announcement and Call for Papers will be ready in February 2003, and the Abstract Handling will take place in July 2003.

Dr. Adam Wanner, President of the ATS, chaired the FIRS meeting. The next meeting will be in Geneva in January 2003.

It was encouraging to see many members from the APSR attend the ATS/APSR meeting. They were Drs. T. de Guia, N. Berend, W-C Tan, Y. Fukuchi, T. Horie, M. Nishimura, S. Hashimoto and Mrs. H. Sato Cochrane. Drs. M. Munakata and K. Ohta attended from Japan as observers. From the ATS, Drs. A. Wanner, T. Martin, W. Martin, H. Boushey, Sharon I.S. Rounds, Mr. C. Booberg and Mr. G. Nelan attended. The main topics for discussion were the joint symposium for the APSR Malaysia Conference and the possibility of APSR joining the Pacific Rim COPD Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii.

At the ACCP/APSR meeting, Drs. S. Braman, U. Prakash, D. Buczak, D. Eubanks and Mr. A. Lever attended from the ACCP. As it was short notice, only Drs. Y. Fukuchi, W-C Tan, K. Ohta and Mrs. H. Sato Cochrane from the APSR could attend. There was a friendly and positive atmosphere throughout the meeting. The ACCP suggested that the first major joint activity could be the 2005 Meeting, and thereafter, further joint meetings could be held every two years. Such joint ventures would of course be subject to the approval of the Executive Committees from each society. The next APSR Executive Meeting will be in October in Taipei.

We would like to thank the ATS for kindly providing space for the APSR booth.

Notice from the Secretariat

1) Bids invited for the Congress in 2005 and 2006!

We would like to invite you to present your case to host the APSR Congress in 2005 and 2006. Bids will be considered at the Executive Meeting in October 2002 in Taipei. You will be requested to present a plan, venue and your country's Thoracic Society's plans for the arrangements and infrastructure of the congress (e.g. Local Organizing Committee, etc.).

If you have any questions, please contact the Secretariat in Tokyo.

2) Please send your manuscripts to:

Dr. Philip J. Thompson
C/o Asthma and Allergy Research Institute
Ground Floor, E Block
Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
Verdun Street
Nedlands, Western Australia, 6009

Tel: +61 8 9346 3262
Fax: +61 8 9346 4159
Email: respirol@cyllene.uwa.edu.au

3) We welcome statements, notices and other information from your country's Thoracic Society (e.g. Annual Meeting, etc.) to be printed in the Newsletter to encourage more vigorous exchange of scientific accomplishments in Respirology within the APSR region.

4) The election of the APSR Councillors has been carried out, and we would like to thank all members who voted. The voting deadline was 30th June 2002, and those who were elected should by now have received notification letters from the Secretariat. A Council Meeting will be held in Taipei during the APSR Congress in October 2002.