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Drug For Different Lung Illness Being Tested In Mesothelioma Patients

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, or IPF, is a chronic and often fatal lung disease that is characterized by scarring of the lungs. It is not fully understand what causes the disease, but it usually is found in adults between the ages of 50 and 70, more men than women, and usually those who have a history of smoking cigarettes. The specific action of the disease is to cause dry, nonproductive cough, shortness of breath, and chronic oxygen deficiency in the blood.

In addition to cigarettes, other contributing causes are thought to be environmental factors to dusts of all types, including metal dust, wood dust, asbestos dust and agricultural dust. It has recently been determined to be highly prevalent in those who worked in shipyards, where workers are also frequently diagnosed with asbestosis and mesothelioma, two diseases that are very similar to IPF. Now a medication that was granted orphan drug status for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis has also being tested on mesothelioma patients.

The medication is called nintedanib. It acts to block the pathways that are thought to be involved in the scarring of lung tissue that makes IPF so difficult to live with. Clinical trials have already been done on IPF patients and have shown that they experienced improvement in the amount of air that they could exhale after a deep breath. The drug is now also being tested in Phase II clinical trials on a number of highly invasive cancers, including mesothelioma, prostate cancer, glioblastoma and others. These tests are aimed at determining what doses are safe and effective.

Patients with mesothelioma who are interested in participating in these trials must meet specific eligibility requirements: they cannot have received either radiotherapy or chemotherapy and must have an expected survival of at least ninety days. The tests are being administered in several U.S. cities, including Pittsburgh, Cleveland and San Francisco.

There have been a number of scientific inquiries as to whether Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis is being correctly diagnosed, and research presented to the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress last theorized that many cases may actually be asbestos. The two illnesses share many characteristics and the exposures that cause them are often the same.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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