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Global clinical trials by researchers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton are leading to cutting-edge treatments for a wide breadth of respiratory issues – changing the lives of patients locally and around the world.

Thanks to their innovative work, new treatments are being found for asthma, lung cancer, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

International research by Dr. Martin Kolb, in partnership with McMaster University and the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, has helped to develop the world’s first treatments for the management of IPF, a fatal disease in which irreversible lung scarring makes it difficult for patients to breathe properly.

It is estimated that between 10,000-12,000 Canadians are diagnosed with IPF, and half of these patients will only live an average of three to four years with the disease. Currently, the disease has no known cure.

By conducting basic research and clinical trials in collaboration with scientists and clinicians in over 30 countries around the world, researchers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton have helped to develop and evaluate two new drugs that slow down the progression of IPF by up to 50 per cent. Both drugs are now available for Canadians, and as of 2017, both are covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit Program.

“This research not only provides IPF patients with more years of life, but it also creates the hope of a cure for this disease in the future,” says lead researcher Dr. Martin Kolb.

Starting in 2018, Dr. Kolb will be the first North American to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the European Respiratory Journal, where he will be responsible for shaping the future direction of the Journal, and highlights the esteem held by the international community for the level of research excellence seen at St Joseph’s.

The European Respiratory Journal is one of the top three most prestigious journals in respiratory medicine around the world – along with The Lancet Respiratory Medicine and the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

“It’s a nice recognition of achievement to be named Editor-in-Chief of one of the top respiratory medicine journals in the world,” says Dr. Kolb. “I look forward to the next five years, and I hope to help continue the successes that the European Respiratory Journal has had.”


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