Temple testing lung foam for emphysema

August 14, 2012 4:49:56 PM PDT
An innovative new treatment for emphysema is being tested in the Philadelphia area.

Dr. Gerard Criner of Temple University Hospital, is studying a foam tended to help those with the lung disease breathe easier.

In emphysema, parts of the lungs become less elastic, so air gets trapped in them.

"If you could do something to lessen the air in the chest, then the lungs that remain and the breathing muscles in the chest wall work more normally," says Dr. Criner.

Surgery can do that, but it has risks, and emphysema patients are often too weak to go through it.

Instead, a bronchoscope and a thin catheter put a liquid into diseased areas.

It turns to foam, sealing them off.

In earlier tests here & overseas, the Aeriseal lung foam worked well.

"They had about a 30% improvement in lung function, their ability to walk during 6 minutes, an improvement in quality of life, and reduction in breathlessness," notes Dr. Criner.

And the effects appear to be long-lasting.

"Up to a year that's been studied so far," he says.

In the Temple study, 3p atients will receive the treatment for every that aren't, but at the end of 1 year, those who don't get treated initially can get the treatment if they want, and if they still qualify.

For more information, call the temple lung center at 215-707-1359, or email to: breathe@temple.edu.


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