It is through research that we can change lives! - Institute for Respiratory Health

It is through research that we can change lives!

Thursday, June 04, 2020 | Community

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic our nurses, study coordinators, doctors and consultants have continued to support patients with clinic visits, or through telehealth, to ensure important clinical research studies are undertaken.

Murray lives with a rare genetic disorder called Alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency. This means he has difficulty producing a protein called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT), resulting in damage to his lungs and other organs such as the liver and the skin. When this condition affects the lungs, it can cause shortness of breath, early-onset emphysema and obstructive lung disease.

I feel like I get personalised, specialist care from the nurses that care for me. They are like family to me. Research and clinical trials are vital to saving lives.

Murray, current clinical trials patient
Murray with Michelle Blackwood, Clinical Trials Nurse

We need your help

It is only through clinical and laboratory research that we can find new and improved treatments for chronic lung disease.

Research is essential to the discovery of new treatments and to determine which treatments work best for patients with lung disease. Research enables us to find answers to things that are unknown, to fill gaps in our knowledge and to change the way we treat patients. Ultimately, when a new treatment is shown to be successful, the outcome can save thousands of lives. Our own Clinical Trials Unit plays a very important role in this and helps national and international developers of new drugs determine their effectiveness. Over the years, the Unit has been involved in many clinical trials of new drugs that have been developed for treating lung diseases and it is highly likely that some of the drugs you may be currently using would have been evaluated in our unit. We have, therefore, been fortunate to see the impact of this within our community.

For the last few months, the world’s attention has been directed towards the COVID-19 crisis. Fortunately, the rate of infection is decreasing and many researchers are working towards developing a vaccine to protect us all if the virus re-emerges. There is much hope that this time next year, a protective vaccine will be available.

Unfortunately, many people will still remain affected by severe chronic lung diseases for the foreseeable future. Treatment is symptomatic and a vaccine will never be available. Because of this, more research is required before there can be any hint of a cure for diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Your donation will make a huge difference to our studies; it will help fund vital research into these diseases that will help end suffering caused by chronic lung disease – perhaps helping someone you may know.

Emeritus Professor Geoff Stewart, Director

We know this is a difficult time for many of our members, so thank you for whatever you are able to donate.