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CSMC Researchers to Study Airway Bypass Treatment for Emphysema

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai have announced the start of the EASE (Exhale Airway Stents for Emphysema) Trial, an international, multi-center clinical trial to explore an investigational treatment that may offer a new, minimally invasive option for those suffering with advanced widespread emphysema.

The study focuses on an experimental procedure called airway bypass designed to create pathways in the lung for trapped air to escape with the goal of relieving shortness of breath and other emphysema symptoms.

"We are excited to be part of this study because currently there are limited treatment options for the emphysema patients," said Zab Mosenifar, M.D., medical director of Cedars-Sinai Center for Chest Diseases and principal investigator of the study at the medical center. "Patients are often in poor physical condition, struggling with each breath. By creating new pathways for airflow with the airway bypass procedure, we hope to reduce hyperinflation and improve lung function."

During the airway bypass procedure, physicians will first use a Doppler probe inserted through the bronchoscope to identify a site in the airway that is away from blood vessels. A special needle is then used to make a small opening and a drug-eluting stent is placed in the passageway to keep it open. The procedure involves placing up to six drug-eluting stents. The total time of the procedure is approximately one to two hours.

"The airway bypass procedure could be a good option for those who would possibly spend years on a lung transplant list or not be suitable candidates for lung transplant surgery, which is one of the only other treatment options available for patients with this type of emphysema," said Mosenifar.

This procedure is still under clinical investigation, but early data suggest it may be beneficial to patients with emphysema. Emphysema affects an estimated 60 million people worldwide, with more than three million sufferers in the United States. There is no cure for the disease.

For more information about the study, please contact Dr. Mosenifar at (310) 423-1835 or visit www.EASEtrialUS.com.