Could This Anti-Fibrotic Drug Treat Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?

According to a story from mirror.co.uk, Professor Selim Cellek is leading a clinical trial that will test a drug combination designed to treat erectile dysfunction associated with Peyronie’s disease, a disease which causes scarring, deformation, and damage to the penis. However, the professor is hoping that the drug could have far more uses, such as treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive disease that affects the lungs.

About Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a deadly, chronic, progressive lung disease which is characterized by lung tissue scarring, leading to a decline in lung function over time. The cause of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is unknown. With that being said, there are a few risk factors that have been identified, such as smoking cigarettes, exposure to various dusts (metal, wood, stone, and coal dust), occupations related to farming, family history, and potentially certain viral infections. Symptoms include shortness of breath, a dry cough, a distinctive crackling sound detected with a stethoscope, oxygen deficiency in the blood, and clubbed digits. There are few treatment options that can have a significant impact on the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Treatment may include certain medications, pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, and lung transplant. Early intervention can make a major difference in outcomes; five year survival rate is between 20 and 40 percent. To learn more about idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, click here.

Halting Disease Progression

The drug combination is designed to halt the scarring process, which means that it could have implications in a number of disease where scarring is present. The treatment combination was discovered by conducting tests on a type of cell called a myofibroblast, which researchers believe are associated with the scarring found in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

There is an urgent need for better treatments for this disease, as it progresses rapidly and can be fatal in only a few years. The treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is also complicated by the general lack of awareness about the disease. This often leads to delays in diagnosis or misdiagnosis, costing patients’ precious time that could be used for treatment. Hopefully trials will reveal the experimental drug combination to be an effective therapy that can halt the progression of lung scarring. 


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