How can we better diagnose and treat pulmonary fibrosis?

May 28, 2010

Pulmonary fibrosis is a mysterious and debilitating disease that causes scar tissue to replace healthy lung tissue. Unable to breathe properly, sufferers are deprived of oxygen and die within three to five years of diagnosis. More than 40,000 people succumb to the disease each year, yet there is no FDA-approved treatment or cure. Longtime KPCC friend and prominent Pasadena resident Bob ORourke is determined to change that. Recently diagnosed, the former Cal Tech public relations executive shares his personal struggle with pulmonary fibrosis in an effort to bring awarness to a disease that takes as many lives in the U.S. each year as breast cancer. What are the seemingly innocuous symptoms? Who should get checked out? Will the drug pirfenidone, approved for treatment in Japan, be fast-tracked by the FDA?

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