Temple performs breakthrough in emphysema treatment

Scientists at Temple University, located in North Philadelphia, carried out a landmark clinical trial for a minimally invasive treatment of emphysema, a life-threatening lung condition most commonly linked to smoker’s lung that affects approximately 3.1 million Americans each year.

Current treatments of emphysema involve a risky procedure that consists of lung reduction surgery and can result in infection and respiratory failure. Temple’s trial, entitled LIBERATE, used an endoscopic lung reduction therapy that is far less invasive than existing treatment.

“The LIBERATE trial was designed to see whether Zephyr EBV was safe and effective over a relatively longer time frame, out to one year,” said Gerard Criner, chair and professor of thoracic medicine and surgery at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine in a Philly Voice article.

The trial resulted in reducing shortness of breath, improved lung functions, and better quality of life.

This trial is one of many medical breakthroughs coming out of Greater Philadelphia, such as CHOP’s first pediatric double hand transplant in the summer of 2016 and Penn completing the first ever robot assisted spinal surgery last fall.