UPMC Video Rounds - Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

December 5, 2019


Daniel Kass, MD, pulmonologist, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine: 

IPF is a disease that was considered untreatable. There was no cure, and no known cause.

Now since November 2014, we've had the approval of two new medications: pirfenidone and nintedanib. And these medications have been shown to slow the rate of deterioration of pulmonary function.

The industry-sponsored clinical trials are looking at different targets. Specifically in the cells called fibroblast. Fibroblast are the cells that produce matrix. That's the component of scar.

Strive IPF was born out of a clinical trial that was done here at UPMC. We've shown here that a treatment of plasma exchange, rituximab, and intravenous immunoglobulin, was effective at improving survival for patients who suffered from the dreaded complication of IPF. And that's the acute exacerbation.

The trial was considered successful because of the patients who were treated, 45% of those patients survived to a year, in comparison to historical controls, that were all dead a year later.
In 2017, stem cell therapy for IPF is only at the level of research. At UPMC, we're trying to bring stem cell clinical trials here under the guidance of Drs. Rojas and Ortiz.

Learn more about the UPMC Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine.