October 27, 2008 (Baltimore, MD)Franklin Square Hospital Center announces the start of the EASE (Exhale Airway Stents for Emphysema) Trial to explore an investigational treatment for advanced widespread emphysema/COPD. The trial focuses on airway bypass, a bronchoscopic procedure designed to reduce lung hyperinflation and shortness of breath (the clinical hallmarks of emphysema/COPD) by making new pathways for trapped air to exit the lungs.
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 dyspnea (shortness of breath).
"We are excited to be part of this study because currently there are limited treatment options for emphysema. Patients are often in poor physical condition, struggling with each breath," states William Krimsky, MD, director of Interventional Pulmonology at Franklin Square and principal investigator of the study. "By creating new pathways for airflow with the airway bypass procedure, we hope to reduce hyperinflation and improve lung function. If patients can breathe easier it is likely to improve their quality of life."
Emphysema, a component 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 make exhalation ineffective, leaving emphysema sufferers with hyperinflation because they are unable to get air out of their lungs. Breathing becomes inefficient and 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.
"The airway bypass
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