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Understanding the Impact of Pulmonary Research

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A Q&A with Pulmonologist Dr. Victor Kim

Posted by Temple Health

Victor Kim, MD, Professor of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Treating lung disease in many cases amounts to just managing the symptoms. But by harnessing the power of clinical research, doctors can significantly change how serious lung conditions are treated. That’s what the Temple Lung Center does all day, every day. And it makes a true difference for patients.

Combining a robust research program with extensive clinical expertise, through a large inventory of clinical trials, puts patients at the forefront of lung disease treatment.

Dr. Victor Kim, Professor of Thoracic Medicine and Surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, collaborates with colleagues throughout the country and the world to bring the latest advances in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and other serious lung conditions to patients.

Q: What makes the Temple Lung Center such a powerhouse for pulmonary research?

Dr. Kim: With the level of expertise that we have at the Temple Lung Center, there is a great breadth of research available that we can perform. Our extensive clinical experience is crucial. This helps develop clinical questions for various things that we’re investigating, both on a clinical and bench resource level.

And we have a great deal of funding from the National Institutes of Health and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to perform that research on a local and international level.

Q: How is the Temple Lung Center contributing to pulmonary research on a global scale?

Dr. Kim: For pulmonary research, Temple is part of an elite cohort of institutions that are able to perform research on a high level, both clinical and basic science. For diseases such as COPD and asthma, we have at least 10 to 15 trials in each disease category, which is quite significant.

We are part of several multicenter consortiums that are involved in research with COPD, as well as lung transplant, sarcoidosis, asthma and sleep apnea. We are part of an elite group of academic medical centers collaborating on this important research.

For pulmonary research, Temple is part of an elite cohort of institutions that are able to perform research on a high level, both clinical and basic science.

- Dr. Victor Kim

Due to our clinical expertise, we are often sought after by the industry to partner on innovative clinical trials for various devices, such as bronchoscopic cryospray therapy and rheoplasty, both for chronic bronchitis.

  • The first trial involves spraying liquid nitrogen onto the airway’s epithelium to ablate mucus-producing cells.
  • The other trial involves the use of pulse electrical fields to eliminate the mucus-producing cells in the airway.

Both show great promise, and for the rheoplasty trial, Temple is one of a handful of U.S. sites enrolling patients.

Q: How are these bronchitis-focused studies different from other clinical trials for this condition?

Dr. Kim: Medical therapy for chronic bronchitis is limited and does not provide a lot of symptom relief or reduced exacerbations and hospitalizations. But these new bronchoscopic therapies are designed to dramatically improve patients’ quality of life by reducing symptoms and exacerbations. We might be looking at a real breakthrough for patients with chronic bronchitis.

Q: What’s the impact of Temple’s standing as a national leader in pulmonary research?

Dr. Kim: We've contributed a great deal to the field, both in terms of an understanding of the science and also from a treatment standpoint. We have a great team, with strong leadership, that has really spearheaded the development of the research infrastructure here at Temple.

Because of this, we have the ability to lead research that benefits people with lung disease everywhere.

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