Although there is usually more emphasis on the threat and treatment of cancer, no disease should be treated as lightly. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis leads to excessive scar tissue in the lung from sources that are mostly unknown. This condition is mostly associated with men who are over 60 years. It leads to the scaring of the lungs causing breathing obstruction. Sadly, there is no known cure for this disease.
Sometimes I liken being afflicted with a disease with no known cure to being on a death row—you are certain that you are going to die; it’s just a matter of time. Till date, there are no causes linked to the disease but patients usually lose the fight within 5 years of their diagnosis.
I was alarmed to find out that as much as 24 percent of annual deaths in America are usually related to scar tissues, according to University of Arizona’s associate professor of medicine, Louise Hecker. I found another study that estimated the amount of death from this disease is over 100,000 in the United States.
Hecker believes that the reason why the statistics are not pronounced is because people eventually die from organ failure like liver cirrhosis and heart failure and is categorized as such. However, the underlying cause of the failure of these organs is usually due to progressive fibrosis. The Department of Defense awarded Hecker and his team of researchers $4.4 million grant to further their studies.
Improved Grant For Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
There seems to be a bright ray of light at the end of the tunnel for those suffering from lung diseases. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has awarded $12 million to a team of researchers headed by Cedars-Sinai. The researchers were charged by NIH to investigate two deadly lung diseases; chronic lung allograft dysfunction and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Chronic lung allograft dysfunction is a term used for the various complications that lead to the failure of lung transplants. The result of such failures is usually fatal. There is still a poor knowledge of both conditions as noted by the director of the Women’s Guild Lung Institute, Paul Noble just like there is a gap in the knowledge of deadly flesh-eating genital infection caused by certain diabetes medications.
How The Grant Will Assist The Researchers?
It is similar grants from the NIH and other sources that started the pioneering work and sustained the findings to the present state. The new research is in three phases.
1️⃣ Immune checkpoint inhibitors
2️⃣ Idiopathic Pulmonary fibrosis’ epithelial progenitor cells
3️⃣ Chronic lung allograft dysfunction epithelial progenitor cells
A lot of successes have been made so far in the study of these lung conditions. For example, the researchers earlier implicated defective progenitor cells to idiopathic fibrosis. They also highlighted on two drugs that had the ability to slow down the progression of the disease and discovered certain molecular mechanisms that drive fibrosis. They also explored the interplay of aberrant “crosstalk” among cells in chronic lung allograft dysfunction.