(NAPS)—There is new hope for the nearly five million Americans suffering from emphysema, an advanced form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). A clinical trial is under way studying a new, minimally invasive procedure that may help them breathe easier without surgery.
Emphysema is a progressive disease that creates breathing difficulties, even when a patient is at rest. Patients may be unable to walk short distances, wash their hair or go about basic daily activities without assistance.
Emphysema occurs when portions of the lung are destroyed and air is trapped in pockets, hyperinflating the lung. The hyperinflated portion of the lung compresses the healthy areas and the diaphragm, making it difficult to breathe and drastically limiting stamina, activity level and quality of life. Smoking is the most common cause of emphysema, but the disease can also be genetic.
Today, emphysema patients often use medication and inhalers to improve their symptoms, but over time, their lungs continue to deteriorate. Advanced emphysema patients have no available alternatives but lung volume reduction surgery, which is associated with high morbidity and mortality, and lung transplantation, which is limited by the availability of donor organs.
A Possible Solution
The LIBERATE clinical trial is studying an investigational, minimally invasive treatment, where tiny Zephyr Endobronchial Valves are placed in the lungs of qualifying patients to block airflow in diseased sections. This helps the functional sections work more efficiently, enabling better breathing and restoring an active life. No surgery is involved in the simple, one-hour procedure.
More than 25,000 Zephyr valves have been implanted outside the U.S. in the last 10 years. Clinical studies in Europe have shown that the majority of qualified patients who have the procedure see a significant improvement in lung function, exercise tolerance and quality of life.
The LIBERATE clinical trial will include 183 study participants across the country.
For information on eligibility requirements and to see a complete description of the study, go to www.clinicaltrials.gov. For further facts, visit www.pulmonx.com or call 1-888-248-LUNG (1-888-248-5864).
A minimally invasive, investigational treatment may enable better breathing and quality of life without surgery.