Making progress with pulmonary fibrosis research
Ian talks about how we're getting closer to our research goals.
For a long time, pulmonary fibrosis was a neglected disease. Not enough research was happening, and there were no treatments.
Over the past decade, we’ve seen a real change. We’ve taken great strides forward. We now understand the condition a lot better, and new treatments have been introduced.
People with pulmonary fibrosis have scarred and thickened ‘alveoli’. These are the parts of the lungs that take oxygen into the body. The scarring means they can’t work as well as they should.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis kills around 5,300 people in the UK every year. And the outlook for people who are newly diagnosed is worse than some cancers - on average, people live for around 3 years after diagnosis.
Despite this, there’s very low public awareness of it. And until recently, there has been little research into pulmonary fibrosis. A few treatments have become available, but they don’t work for everyone and new approaches are urgently needed.
Over the last few years, more and more research info pulmonary fibrosis has been happening. There’s real momentum building.
Now there are research groups across the UK. Their primary focus is understanding pulmonary fibrosis – and using that knowledge to develop new treatments and preventions.
In recent years here at the British Lung Foundation, we’ve spent more than £600,000 on pulmonary fibrosis research. I’m looking forward to giving the go-ahead to invest another £300,000 more on vital research over the coming year.
And I can’t wait to see the real-world impact that research has on people with pulmonary fibrosis.
My goal for pulmonary fibrosis research
We're desperate to develop a cure that will stop the disease in its tracks if somebody does get it. To do this, we need to understand what causes it, and take steps to stop it occurring in the first place.
Achieving this is likely to take decades of work.
Until then, we need to focus on developing effective treatments as quickly as possible. And we also need to come up with better approaches to caring for people with pulmonary fibrosis – to help them have a better quality of life.
What we’re doing
It’s my job to look after all the research we carry out. There are lots of very different lung diseases - so with limited resources, it’s crucial that our research has the biggest possible impact.
We’ve identified pulmonary fibrosis as one of our priorities for research.
This means we offer opportunities for cutting-edge research projects that are specifically aimed at pulmonary fibrosis.
By doing this, we’re sending a message out to the research community. We’re saying that pulmonary fibrosis matters – and encouraging more world-class research in this area.
A long way to go
There’s still a long way to go – but we’re on the right track now.
We’re building real momentum for pulmonary fibrosis research. And that can only mean better things for people with pulmonary fibrosis.
This is all possible because of your incredible donations. Every gift makes a difference, and brings us one step further to our goal of eradicating pulmonary fibrosis completely.
Can you help me fund more life-changing research? Make a donation to our pulmonary fibrosis appeal today >