Last fall, the American College of Chest Physicians and the Canadian Thoracic Society released new guidelines for COPD. “Previous guidelines addressed management of COPD exacerbations. The new ones aim to prevent them,” says Temple Lung Center Director Gerard J. Criner, MD, FACP, FACCP, who chaired the panel that developed the guidelines. COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the fourth in Canada.
Promising New Drugs
Two new investigational drugs that could be game changers for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) are being offered by Temple in an expanded access program in advance of the drugs’ FDA approval. Both pirfenidone (InterMune) and nintedanib (Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals) show promise in slowing the progression of IPF, a debilitating condition that affects about 140,000 Americans. “Previously, there wasn’t effective drug therapy for IPF,” Criner said.
Drugs for Emphysema
Temple is one of four medical centers in the country to take part in a three-year National Institutes of Health study that is testing whether ibuprofen can reverse the effects of emphysema, which affects about 3.1 million Americans. “If this treatment is successful, it could restore lost lung function and change the course of treatment for millions,” says Criner, the trial’s local principal investigator.