Viral infection and specialized lung cells linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

School of Medicine researchers have described another link in the chain of events that connects acute viral infections to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Their discovery points to a new therapeutic target for COPD, an extremely common disease of the lower airways. The image depicts airway epithelial cells from lung tissue of a COPD patient.

Early-stage lung cancer treatments evaluated in patients with breathing problems

The Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital is seeking patients for a clinical study to determine the best treatment for patients with early-stage lung cancer who also have breathing problems. The study focuses on patients with the most common type of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer.

Genes influence how much people smoke and who gets lung cancer

Your DNA influences how much you smoke and whether you will develop lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A study, led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine, is the first large-scale effort to match genetics with smoking, lung cancer and COPD combined. The investigators studied 38,000 smokers and found that two groups of gene variants on chromosome 15 influence the risk for all three problems.

Cigarette smoking impairs ligament healing, researchers find

The list of reasons you shouldn’t smoke has gotten longer. Researchers at the School of Medicine are reporting that smoking interferes with ligament healing. Each year in the United States there are more than 20 million reported ligament injuries, and MCL injuries — which affect a ligament supporting the knee joint — are the most common. Studying mice with MCL injuries, the team discovered cigarette smoking impairs the recruitment of cells to the injury site and delays healing following ligament repair surgery.

Cigarette smoking impairs ligament healing, researchers find

The list of reasons you shouldn’t smoke has gotten longer. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are reporting that smoking interferes with ligament healing. Each year in the United States there are more than 20 million reported ligament injuries, and MCL injuries—which affect a ligament supporting the knee joint—are the most common. Studying mice with MCL injuries, the team discovered cigarette smoking impairs the recruitment of cells to the injury site and delays healing following ligament repair surgery.

NSAID increases liver damage in mice carrying mutant human gene

The large globules in the liver cells on the left are characteristic of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. The image on the right shows normal liver cells.Research performed at the School of Medicine sheds light on the mechanisms that contribute to liver disease in alpha-1-AT deficiency patients. People with alpha-1-deficiency have a genetic mutation that can lead to emphysema at an early age and to liver damage. Using an experimental mouse model of the disorder, the researchers investigated the effects of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) on liver injury.

NSAID increases liver damage in mice carrying mutant human gene

The large globules in the liver cells on the left are characteristic of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. The image on the right shows normal liver cells.Research performed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis sheds light on the mechanisms that contribute to liver disease in alpha-1-AT deficiency patients. People with alpha-1-deficiency have a genetic mutation that can lead to emphysema at an early age and to liver damage. Using an experimental mouse model of the disorder, the researchers investigated the effects of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) on liver injury.

Emphysema patients benefit from one-sided lung reduction

Illustration of a lung volume reduction surgeryIn many cases of advanced emphysema, reducing the size of the lungs surgically has been shown to improve both survival and quality of life. But some emphysema patients can’t tolerate this bilateral operation. Now a study conducted by researchers at the School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System has shown that unilateral, or one-sided, lung volume reduction surgery has significant benefits, offering help to those who are not candidates for the bilateral surgery.

Emphysema patients benefit from one-sided lung reduction

Illustration of a lung volume reduction surgeryIn many cases of advanced emphysema, reducing the size of the lungs surgically has been shown to improve both survival and quality of life. But some emphysema patients can’t tolerate this bilateral operation. Now a study conducted by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Pennsylvania Health System has shown that unilateral, or one-sided, lung volume reduction surgery has significant benefits, offering help to those who are not candidates for the bilateral surgery. More…

Less is more, when it comes to diseased lung tissue

The enlarged and distended lungs of an emphysema patient before surgery.Known as lung-volume reduction surgery, the procedure improves overall health and quality of life for people with end-stage emphysema. Now lung surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that the positive effects last for as long as five years in more than half of all patients. It is not a cure for emphysema, but studies suggest that the surgery can increase breathing capacity by more than 50 percent. The procedure was developed a decade ago at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. In select patients with disease that is localized to certain areas of the lung, it is possible to remove the most diseased portions of lung tissue and provide more room for the lung to expand inside the chest cavity.