PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Landmark research directed by Temple Health could lead to a new treatment for people with lung diseases.
This is a less invasive way to treat emphysema. The new research showed it provided some long-lasting benefits.
Sue Pallanta is finally able to enjoy playing with her dogs and is breathing easy for the first time in a long time.
“It’s incredible,” said Pallanta.
Pallanta, a Levittown resident, has severe emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung aliments that seriously compromised her quality of life.
“You can’t breathe at all when you’re walking, you just can’t get your breath, you feel like you’re suffocating,” she said.
Not anymore, thanks to the Zephyr Endo-bronchial Valve that’s placed in the lung with a flexible catheter.
It allows air that is trapped in damaged areas to escape along with fluid and prevents air flow into diseased pockets.
“That resulted in improvement of lung function, quality of life, and the ability to walk,” said Dr. Gerard Criner of Temple Health.
Criner is the principal investigator of the LIBERATE trial which he hopes will lead to FDA approval for the valve.
“I think it could be an important adjunct to what we have now to treat patients with COPD, who have emphysema,” said Criner.
The current treatment is lung reduction surgery that shrinks diseased tissue allowing healthier regions to expand and function better.
The valve accomplishes the same thing and it’s not as invasive.
“It’s amazing the valves placed in a lung can do that,” said Pallanta.
For Pallanta, who used to be constantly tethered to oxygen tanks, it’s only occasionally now that she has the lung valves.
“I’ve got my life back, it gave me my life back. It literally gave me my life back,” she said.
She was among 190 patients in the clinical trial.
The maker of the valve is hoping for FDA approval later this year.