Our understanding of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has changed dramatically over the past two decades. We have moved from an airflow limitation-centric view to the realisation that COPD is a complex and heterogeneous disease, which leads inevitably to the need for personalising the assessment and treatment of patients with COPD. This review provides a brief perspective of the extraordinary transition that the COPD field has experienced in the last two decades, and speculates on how it should/can move forward in the near future in order to really achieve the goal of personalising COPD medicine in the clinic.
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