Pulmonary Advances Newsletter

Advanced Technologies Expand Options for Lung Transplant Recipients

Specialists within the Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are utilizing the latest technologies to improve the viability of donor lungs and the potential for transplantation for more patients.

“Typically, for every 10 donors, only one set of lungs is suitable for transplantation, making the lungs a highly valued organ,” said Raphael Bueno, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at BWH, and co-director of the Lung Center. “To better serve our patients, we need to seek out as many potential donors as possible, which means patients on the waitlist can get lungs transplanted sooner, thus reducing the mortality rate.”

The Lung Center has increased the number of lung transplants performed annually by making new technologies available to patients, and increasing staffing to include four surgeons whose focus is to perform lung transplants, said Dr. Bueno.

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Evaluating Genetic Markers to Discover Undiagnosed Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonologists and geneticists in the Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are developing a novel study incorporating genetic testing to identify patients at risk for pulmonary fibrosis with the goal of detecting and treating the disease at earlier stages.

Gary M. Hunninghake, MD, Director of the Sarcoidosis and Granulomatous Lung Disease Service, Ivan O. Rosas, MD, Director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Program, and Benjamin A. Raby, MD, MPH, Director of the Pulmonary Genetics Center, are collaborating on a new genetic study, which includes both patients with pulmonary fibrosis and their relatives. Earlier work by this team has shown that patients with IPF and those with early stages of pulmonary fibrosis share a high prevalence of specific genetic determinants (N Engl J Med. 2013 Jun 6; 368(23):2192-200 ).

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Improving Outcomes for Patients with Pulmonary Embolism and Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension

Specialists in vascular medicine, pulmonary medicine, emergency medicine, critical care, cardiothoracic surgery, interventional cardiology, and thoracic imaging in the new Acute Pulmonary Embolism (PE) Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are collaborating to provide rapid assessment, triage, and management for patients presenting with signs and symptoms of acute pulmonary embolism...

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Landmark Study Evaluates Antifibrotic Therapy in Patients with Interstitial Lung Disease Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Experts in the Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are leading a groundbreaking trial to assess the use of the antifibrotic therapy pirfenidone in patients with rheumatoid arthritis-related interstitial lung disease (RA-ILD). There are currently no effective treatments for progressive fibrotic lung disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Rosas is the overall Principal Investigator of the first randomized clinical trial testing medication for pulmonary fibrosis in rheumatoid arthritis patients. This double-blinded study (Phase II Study of Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of Pirfenidone in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Interstitial Lung Disease) is open to enrollment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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New Program Delivers Integrated, Gender-specific Care for Women with Pulmonary Diseases

The new Women’s Lung Health Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) provides advanced multidisciplinary care and tailored disease management for women with respiratory disease, including asthma, chronic lung infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), dyspnea, lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension, and vocal cord dysfunction...

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Real-time Image-guided Video-assisted Thoracic Surgery Procedures Help to Remove Small Lung Cancers Less Invasively

Led by Raphael Bueno, MD, Chief of Thoracic Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and thoracic surgeon in the Center for Thoracic Oncology at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, a multidisciplinary team developed and performed some of the first real-time image-guided videoassisted thoracic surgery (iVATS) wedge resections in the United States...

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Pulmonary Vascular Disease Specialists Add Balloon Angioplasty as a Treatment Option for Patients Not Eligible for Surgery

Percutaneous balloon angioplasty joins surgical thromboendarterectomy and acute embolectomy in the arsenal of therapies offered at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center that aim at revascularizing pulmonary vessels to improve ventilation, flow balance, and right-ventricular function.

“Balloon angioplasty may be a valuable option for clearing vascular obstruction in patients who are not candidates for surgical thromboendarterectomy and those who have had a less-than optimal outcome from surgical intervention,” said Aaron Waxman, MD, PhD, Director of the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program.

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