New treatment gives hope for pulmonary fibrosis patients

May 20, 2008

Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) may have a new treatment option, according to researchers in Japan.

In a Phase III, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the investigators discovered that a daily dose of pirfenidone could slow the progression of IPF, reducing the loss of lung capacity. The results will be announced at the American Thoracic Society’s 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Tuesday, May 20.

“The most common treatment for IPF is anti-inflammatory agents such as steroids,” said lead researcher Takashi Ogura, M.D., of Kanagawa Cardiovascular and Respiratory Center in Yokohama, Japan. “However our study confirmed that pirfenidone, the main action of which is thought to be antifibrotic, achieved a therapeutic effect on IPF. I expect that our study will serve as a guide to develop a new therapy for IPF in the future.”

The researchers recruited a total of 275 Japanese patients with mild to moderate IPF and randomized them to a high dose pirfenidone (1,800 mg/day) group, a low dose pirfenidone group (1,200 mg/day) and a placebo group. They measured lung capacity (vital capacity or VC) and progression-free survival, defined as a period without death or a greater than 10 percent decrease in VC, to determine the effectiveness of the regimens.

At the end of one year, they found that patients who had been randomized to the high dose regimen had significantly lower loss of VC than the placebo group. Furthermore, pirfenidone slowed the overall deterioration of IPF compared to the placebo.

“Taken altogether, our study demonstrated positive clinical effects of pirfenidone that suppresses the progress of IPF and potentially contributes to improving the outcomes of patients with IPF,” said Dr. Ogura.

Pirfenidone represents new hope, not only for IPF patients who currently have no curative treatment options, but because it is thought to be an antifibrotic agent, it may be able to treat other fibrotic lung diseases, such as interstitial pneumonia with collagen vascular disease and extrapulmonary fibrosis.

“We will continue the follow-up of the patient cohort included in this study to identify whether pirfenidone can contribute to prolonged survival in patients with IPF,” said Dr. Ogura. “Other clinical studies of pirfenidone are also being conducted in the U.S. and Europe, and we hope that our results will be replicated there.”

Source: American Thoracic Society

Explore further: Ebola mistakes should serve a lesson says WHO

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanotechnology changes behavior of materials

39 minutes ago

One of the reasons solar cells are not used more widely is cost—the materials used to make them most efficient are expensive. Engineers are exploring ways to print solar cells from inks, but the devices ...

New algorithm resolves Wi-Fi interference problems

39 minutes ago

To overcome the problem of interference between wireless networks, a doctoral student at EPFL has developed an algorithm that automatically selects the best frequency band according to the usage of neighboring ...

'Predicted' zeolites may fuel efficient processes

49 minutes ago

(Phys.org)—Scientists at Rice University and the University of Minnesota have identified synthetic materials that may purify ethanol more efficiently and greatly improve the separation of long-chain hydrocarbons ...

Gullies on Vesta suggest past water-mobilized flows

59 minutes ago

(Phys.org)—Protoplanet Vesta, visited by NASA's Dawn spacecraft from 2011 to 2013, was once thought to be completely dry, incapable of retaining water because of the low temperatures and pressures at its ...

Cichlid sisters swim together in order to reach the goal

19 minutes ago

The manner and routes of dispersal vary with the species and the ecological conditions. Many fish form shoals to avoid predation. Shoaling with familiar conspecifics affords the fish an even greater advantage ...

Recommended for you

Ebola mistakes should serve a lesson says WHO

16 hours ago

The World Health Organization's chief admitted on Sunday that the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve as a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future.

British Ebola nurse discharged from hospital

23 hours ago

A British nurse who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone said she was "happy to be alive" as she was discharged from hospital on Saturday having made a full recovery.

Tide turning in Ebola fight after hard lessons

Jan 24, 2015

A top U.N. official in the fight against Ebola greeted just three patients at one treatment center he visited this week in Sierra Leone. Families in Liberia are no longer required to cremate the remains of ...

Just five Ebola cases left in Liberia: UN

Jan 24, 2015

The United Nations said on Saturday Liberia was dealing with just five remaining cases of Ebola, in the clearest sign yet that the country is nearing the end of the outbreak.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.