Medical Conference Notes
These were some of the developments that were presented at an American College of Chest Physicians meeting that will be interesting to follow over the coming years.
A meeting of note at the ACCP conference was on smoking cessation. This was led by pulmonologists Dr. Jill Ohar and Dr. Stephen Rennard as well as a psychiatrist, Dr. John Hughes. They discussed the pitfalls of this difficult task. Smoking cessation is a 2 step process: physiologic withdrawal and then control of behavior afterwards. Dr. Hughes discussed a few things people can do to help control behavior. These include the following: Identify high risk situations and avoid them. Identify specific cues and triggers that may
There was a lecture on modern and novel therapies for COPD. For instance, part of a lecture discussed “regrowing” lungs. This requires two things: stem cells and growth factors. There are cells in the bronchial tubes called Clara cells. They would provide the stem cells. Growth factors can be obtained from any type of tissue. The politically charged debate about embryonic stem cells does not apply here. Growing lung tissue is a process requiring adult not embryonic stem cells. Perhaps someday these cells will repair and replace injured cells in the respiratory system. Don’t hold your breath yet though (pun intended).
Laurence G. Nair, MD
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine