About the Authors

Wei-jie Guan

Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, National Clinical Research center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Yong-hua Gao

Affiliation Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China

Hui-min Li

Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, National Clinical Research center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Jing-jing Yuan

Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, National Clinical Research center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Rong-chang Chen

chenrc@vip.163.com (RCC); nanshan@vip.163.com (NSZ)

Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, National Clinical Research center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Nan-shan Zhong

chenrc@vip.163.com (RCC); nanshan@vip.163.com (NSZ)

Affiliation State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, National Clinical Research center for Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Competing Interests

Profs. Zhong and Chen declared that they had received Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University ITR0961, The National Key Technology R&D Program of the 12th National Five-year Development Plan 2012BAI05B01 and National Key Scientific & Technology Support Program: Collaborative innovation of Clinical Research for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer No. 2013BAI09B09. All other authors declared no potential conflict of interest. Dr. Guan has received National Natural Science Foundation No. 81400010 and 2014 Scientific Research Projects for Medical Doctors and Researchers from Overseas, Guangzhou Medical University No. 2014C21. None of the funding sources had any role on the study.

Author Contributions

Conceived and designed the experiments: WJG YHG RCC NSZ. Performed the experiments: WJG YHG JJY HML. Analyzed the data: WJG. Wrote the paper: WJG YHG. Responsible for patient recruitment: RCC NSZ. Critically reviewed the manuscript and approved final submission: RCC NSZ.