Calling Dr. Bauer
As 2014 draws to a close, I thought this would be a good opportunity to give our readers a brief update on what’s new in the world of pulmonary medicine. Here we go:
- Lung Cancer: We are discovering new proteins called driver mutations on the surface of lung cancer cells that can predict a good response to a variety of new cancer These targeted agents may prolong life and improve symptoms in patients with advanced lung cancer.
- COPD: Every few months I’m seeing new inhalers on the Most of them are combination inhalers with a variety of long acting bronchodilators and steroids. Some are just once a day use. Bronchoscopic lung volume reduction is a technique being actively investigated. Introducing a variety of small plugs, mechanical valves and/or coils into the airways by bronchoscopy is a nonsurgical approach that may improve lung function in advanced COPD. The verdict is not in at this time.
- Interstitial lung disease: Two new drugs – Nintedanib and Pirfenidone – have just been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will soon be available. These have been shown to modestly slow the decline in lung function and slow disease progression in IPF but will be very expensive.
- Sleep apnea: A big trend led by insurance carriers is to perform more inhome sleep studies rather than in hospital or clinic for complete polysomnograms. Also a big push for AutoPAP self adjusting machines. Compliance and efficacy are being assessed by “smart card” computer chips or online modem reporting.
- Smoking cessation: Electronic cigarettes (ecigarettes) are a big They may be helpful as an aid for smoking cessation, but major concerns exist about use of flavored cigarettes in young adults and teens as a gateway drug towards regular cigarette use. Lots of ongoing research.
Best wishes to all our Pulmonary Paper readers for a great 2015. I enjoy my discussions with you. Keep in touch!
Ed’s Note: As a treat for the holidays, enjoy a special clip from Dr. Bauer’s piano recital! Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkh3onuhkhk