Pulmonary fibrosis means lung scarring. There are many causes of lung scarring including radiation, medications, and exposure to environmental dust, such as asbestos, molds or bird dander. In addition, lung scarring is associated with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. When the cause of the scarring is not known and has a particular pattern, referred to as usual interstitial pneumonitis, the lung disease is classified as idiopathic, which means we do not know what is causing it. The Tulane Lung Center is well equipped to evaluate and manage patients with all causes of pulmonary fibrosis, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and you can make an appointment with our physicians by calling 504-988-8600.
As many as 30,000 Americans are newly diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) each year. IPF has been a frustrating disease to treat for patients and their physicians. However, a wealth of basic research, including ongoing exploration at Tulane, regarding the pathobiology of pulmonary fibrosis has led to several recent clinical trials for the treatment of IPF. Importantly, Tulane is currently ofering compassionate early access to an effective drug for IPF prior to FDA approval (anticipated in early 2015).
Dr. Lasky has taken some of his research from the bench to the bedside and is a member of an international panel of experts who recently wrote an evidenced-based consensus guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with pulmonary fibrosis. The consensus manuscript has been a tremendous resource for IPF patients and their physicians (PubMed).
Tulane is a member of the NIH-spnsored IPFnet. The IPFnet is a consortium of 22 medical centers across the United States that excel in the treatment of IPF. Under the guidance of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, these centers develop and conduct clinical trials that will hopefully identify better therapies for IPF, in both its early and advanced stages. Please click this link to see what clinical IPF trials are currently enrolling patients at Tulane.
Joseph Lasky, MD