Why pulmonary fibrosis deserves more attention

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis x-ray courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

This September is the inaugural Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, which the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and allies have launched to educate the public about the disease family. Involving scarring of the lungs, pulmonary fibrosis gradually robs the breath from patients it affects. 

Some 200,000 Americans live with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.  

At present, two drugs are available to treat the condition in the U.S., but pulmonary fibrosis remains an active focus area for drug developers.

Given that September is Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month, the anniversary of the September 11 attacks also can serve as a reminder of the impact of interstitial lung disease. “Lots of lung disease has occurred in the first responders of the World Trade Center,” said Dr. Joyce Lee, a senior medical advisor for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundat…

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Why Bioclinica tapped AI in immunotherapy trials early in the pandemic

An AI-based system proved its mettle in screening patients in immunotherapy trials, according to Dan Gebow, chief innovation officer at Bioclinica.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, developers of cancer immunotherapies worried that the novel coronavirus would interfere with their clinical trial results.

In previous years, the scientific community established that immunotherapy can rarely cause interstitial lung disease (ILD). An umbrella term covering several conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis that lead to scarring of the lungs, ILD also arises in some patients with COVID-19.

The fact that ILD can arise from COVID-19 and cancer immunotherapies complicated oncology clinical trials, recalled Gebow at Bioclinica, which provides clinical trial adjudication products and services. “Patients in immunotherapy clinical trials were showing up at the emergency room with some type of lung infection,” Gebow said. “You can imagine if you’re the pharmaceutical company…

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