Help Is on the Way
NeoPharm, Inc. has filed an investigational new drug application with the FDA for the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The company plans to start a Phase I clinical study in which the drug, now called IL13-PE, will be administered as an aerosol. NeoPharm expects to conduct the study at six to eight sites with 32 patients. The study’s objective will be to assess the safety and the maximum-tolerated dose of the drug, along with its efficacy in patients with advanced IPF.
How many Americans have IPF? Currently, over 80,000, most of whom were first diagnosed between the ages of 40 to 70 years, with more than two thirds over 60 years old. As with most of our lung diseases, we have no cure for IPF.
You are probably taking prednisone to decrease inflammation and an antifibrotic agent, such as N-acetyl- L-cystein. You may also take immunosuppressive drugs that inhibit or prevent activity of the immune system. Your physician is probably encouraging you to participate in clinical trials and possibly investigating the feasibility of having a lung transplant. IPF may not be the only medical problem you are dealing with, so your doctor is concentrating on the other problems too. If you also have heart disease or gastric reflux disease, we call those co-morbidities.
It always helps to talk to others with similar problems. We encourage you to seek them out through your local pulmonary rehabilitation program, Lung Association Office or on the Internet. There is safety – and power – in numbers!
You may find support groups in your area specifi- cally for those with pulmonary fibrosis by contacting:
The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis
http://coalitionforpf.org or 1-888-222-8541
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation
www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org or 1-312-587-9272
American Lung Association, www.lungusa.org is the organization’s web site which will give you information on the closest office to you.
Find online support at: www.dailystrength.org/c/ Pulmonary-Fibrosis/support-group or www.mdjunction. com/pulmonary-fibrosis.
If you have been recently diagnosed with IPF, you may download an informative booklet at the American College of Chest Physicians web site at www.chest net.org/accp/patient-guides/idiopathic-pulmonary- fibrosis-and-you.