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Here is a roundup of the articles, news & updates that we've published on the PERF blog site during the past month. Click on the "Read More" link at the bottom of each excerpt to read the full article.

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Potpourri of COPD – A Video With Dr. Richard Casaburi

Earlier this year PERF President Dr. Richard Casaburi shared a “potpourri” of COPD – an update on current research and medications under study by LABioMed at Harbor UCLA in Torrance, CA. He appeared before a wonderful audience at a luncheon held by the PEP Pioneers, the rehabilitation support group affiliated with the Little Company of Mary hospital in Torrance, CA. This 49-minute video covers stem cells, COPD medications, a description of the COPD Gene study, other NIH-funded studies, industry-sponsored studies, new and novel approaches to treating COPD, and more.

…Watch the video

Two Therapies For Other Diseases May Help Pulmonary Hypertension

Recent research on two drugs, one used for an eye disease and the other being tested as a potential cancer treatment, has led to the unintended discovery that they might help in treating pulmonary hypertension (PH, high pressure in the blood vessels leading to the lung). Pulmonary hypertension is a common complication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A cascading sequence of events in cell function led researchers to the discovery that the drugs might help to treat PH. First in the sequence is the stiffening and hardening of lung arteries, which causes PH. Second, when the arteries stiffen and harden, they trigger the activation of two signaling molecules called YAP and TAZ. These molecules then activate a protein called GLS1, which affects energy production and energy usage in the cells of lung vessels.

…Read more

Pulmonary Rehabilitation – A Policy Statement of the American Thoracic Society

It’s hardly possible to say enough about the beneficial effects of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) for patients with chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD. Symptoms of the disease are reduced, physiological improvements take place, patients simply feel better both physically and mentally, and the need for drugs and other therapies can be reduced. Yet around the world, PR is not used as often as it might be.

Why? Answers include insufficient funding; lack of resources; limited options for reimbursement; and lack of awareness and knowledge on the part of patients, medical care providers, and insurers alike.

…Read more

Whither Long-Term Oxygen Therapy -The Importance of the LOTT Results-

By Richard Casaburi, PhD, MD, and PERF President
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

About 35 years ago, two studies were published that form the basis for our prescription of home oxygen therapy.  One was performed in the United States, led by Tom Petty, the other in Great Britain, led by David Flenley.  In sum, these studies showed that, in hypoxemic COPD patients, provision of supplemental oxygen improved survival and that the benefit improved with the number of hours per day of oxygen that patients received.  The survival benefit was not subtle: 3-year survival was roughly 45% in those receiving no oxygen therapy and 75% in those assigned to full-time oxygen.  As a direct result of this study, long-term oxygen has become ingrained in pulmonary practice, spawning a major industry: roughly a million people in the United States receive home oxygen therapy at a cost of several billion dollars per year.

…Read more

The Basics of COPD – A Video With Dr. Richard Casaburi

PERF President Dr. Richard Casaburi spoke about the basics of COPD at the June 2015 Luncheon of PEP Pioneers, the rehabilitation support group affiliated with the Little Company of Mary hospital in Torrance, CA. He explained how COPD affects both the airways (chronic bronchitis) and the lung structure (emphysema), and how it ages people and causes an array of symptoms such as dyspnea (shortness of breath), coughing, sputum production, muscle problems, depression, heart problems, and interference with sleep.

In this 1 hour, 12 minute video presentation, Dr. Casaburi covers:

  • What Is COPD?
  • How Big A Problem is It?
  • What Causes COPD?
  • How Is It Diagnosed?
  • How Is It Treated?
  • What Is On The Horizon?

…Watch the video



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PERF Monthly Newsletter – December 2016

2 thoughts on “PERF Monthly Newsletter – December 2016

  • January 13, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I have had COPD for 17 yrs. i am checking in to Stem Cell Therapy i was just wondering if it is a hoax or is there something to it. I have all ways been told if it sounds to good to be true it usually is.

    • February 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      I am aware that a number of centers in the United States and abroad are offering stem cell therapy. However, experts in this field believe (and I believe) that this therapy does not have proven benefits. We initially thought that stem cells might be able to rebuild damaged lungs but, to date, the scientific evidence for this is lacking. The websites of the centers offering stem cell therapy that I’ve looked at have testimonials from people who say they’ve been helped, but testimonials are not scientific evidence. I’ve heard that these centers charge large sums of money for treatment; of course insurance does not pay for unproven therapies.
      Sorry not to have better news.
      – Richard Casaburi, PhD, MD


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