Early Disease Detection in Relatives of Patients With Pulmonary Fibrosis

lung scan

A soon-to-be published study reports a high prevalence of interstitial lung abnormalities (ILA) and undiagnosed interstitial lung disease (ILD) among first-degree relatives of patients with familial pulmonary fibrosis (FPF) and sporadic idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Results suggest screening might be warranted for undiagnosed relatives to facilitate early detection of PF.

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Bringing Screening—and a Brighter Outlook—to More Lung Cancer Patients

The landmark National Lung Screening Trial found that in high-risk individuals, low-dose CT (LDCT) screening reduced lung cancer mortality by 20 percent relative to chest X-ray. Nine years after those results were published, lung cancer remains by far the leading cause of cancer-related death. And yet, screening for this dangerous disease is lagging.
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Leading the Way in Applying Minimally Invasive Techniques in Thoracic Surgery

For years, general thoracic surgery was largely associated with open procedures such as thoracotomy, sternotomy and laparotomy. Minimally invasive techniques have steadily gained traction since the early 1990s, particularly for smaller procedures like wedge resection and pleural biopsy.

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Reevaluating Treatment Guidelines for Surgically Resected, N1-Positive Stage II NSCLC

doctor looking at imaging in computer

Stage II non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) represents less than 10 percent of the approximately 234,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. Due to its relatively low incidence, not many papers have been published on stage II NSCLC. Furthermore, few clinicians have extensive experience treating it.

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Using ECMO as a Bridging Strategy to Lung Transplant

working ecmo machine in intensive care department, closeup oxygenator

The Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital hosts the largest, and one of only two, lung transplant programs in New England. Through its use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), the center is improving the outlook for patients with end-stage lung disease who otherwise would be considered too sick for transplant.

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A Multidisciplinary Approach to Controlling Severe Asthma

Senior woman on medical exam

About 24.7 million Americans live with asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients with severe asthma comprise 10 to 15 percent of this figure, said pulmonologist Elliot Israel, MD, co-director of the Severe Asthma Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. And yet, he added, caring for this segment of asthma patients accounts for over half the cost of asthma care.

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New Option for Severe Emphysema: One-Way Valves to Reduce Lung Volume

Adding to the care options for patients with advanced emphysema, the Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital now offers a new procedure to place one-way endobronchial valves into the airways of a diseased lobe. The valves offer the symptom relief of lung reduction without the risks of surgery.
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Discovering the Genetic Blueprint Behind Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Edwin Silverman, MD, PhD, is a pioneer in studying how genetics impact COPD risk. His team, which includes leading researchers such as Craig Hersh, MD, MPH; Dawn DeMeo, MD, MPH; Michael Cho, MD, MPH; Peter Castaldi, MD; and Xiaobo Zhou, PhD, generated findings that could have profound implications for the future of COPD treatment.

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Female, 30-years-old, Short of Breath: Could It Be LAM?

CT scan of LAM

The first-time patient at the Center for LAM Research and Clinical Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital was typical: A female in her 30s, she had experienced dyspnea on exertion, unusual chest discomfort and fatigue for years. The otherwise healthy former athlete had seen multiple physicians, who ruled out cardiac issues and prescribed asthma meds, but symptoms persisted. When a CT scan was ordered for a suspected pulmonary embolus, none was found. But the scan revealed the real problem: Lung destruction that is characteristic of lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). Read More

Minimally Invasive POEM Succeeds for Achalasia and Other Esophageal Disorders

stent illustration for POEM

Motor disorders of the esophagus present a rare but serious challenge. But experience with Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy in the comprehensive esophageal practice at the Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is showing benefits for its initial use in achalasia and for other motor disorders.

Jon O. Wee, MD, the section chief for esophageal surgery and co-director of minimally invasive thoracic surgery in the Division of Thoracic Surgery, was an early adopter of POEM and one of the first in New England to perform the procedure. He has performed more than 60 POEM procedures at Brigham and Women’s since 2013.

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