WINFIELD, Ill., April 1, 2008 Researchers at Suburban Lung Associates and the Chicago Chest Center recently announced the start of the EASE (Exhale Airway Stents for Emphysema) Trial to explore an investigational treatment for advanced widespread emphysema. The trial focuses on airway bypass, a minimally invasive bronchoscopic procedure designed to help patients with emphysema/COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) breathe more easily.
Central DuPage Hospital is the only site for the EASE trial in the Chicago area. Airway bypass could be groundbreaking because it is a potential non-surgical treatment for the patient with diffuse emphysema, states Dr. Kevin Kovitz, interventional pulmonologist and principal investigator of the study at the Central DuPage Hospital site. Emphysema, which permanently destroys lung function, is such a devastating disease, and any potential new treatment option could offer substantial relief to the millions who struggle with each breath.
During the airway bypass procedure, new openings are created in the airway wall connecting the damaged lung tissue to the natural airway. These pathways are supported and kept open by Exhale® Drug-Eluting Stents manufactured by Broncus Technologies, Inc. Patients could see an immediate improvement in shortness of breath.
Emphysema, a type of COPD, is a chronic, progressive and irreversible lung disease characterized by the destruction of lung tissue. The loss of the lungs' natural elasticity and the collapse of airways in the lung combine to leave emphysema sufferers unable to get air out of their lungs. As a result, patients have to work very hard just to breathe, making normal activities, like walking, eating or even bathing, difficult. There are few treatment options for most patients with emphysema and there is no cure.
If proven, the airway bypass procedure could be an excellent option for those who are not suitable candidates
|Contact: Meghan Oreste|