American Lung Association works to dispel misinformation

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President Donald Trump says getting infected with COVID-19 was a “blessing from God.” Trump attributes him feeling well to the experimental antibody therapy he got from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Oct. 7)

AP Domestic

The rash of coronavirus infections emanating from the White House, followed by President Donald Trump’s tweeted advice to the nation – “Don’t be afraid of Covid’’ – prompted the American Lung Association on Wednesday to issue guidance for those confronting the disease in hopes of dispelling misinformation.

Few Americans have access to the treatments and battery of doctors available to the president, so the vast majority can’t afford to be cavalier about an illness that has killed more than 210,000 in the U.S. and upwards of 1 million worldwide.

In a statement from its chief medical officer, Dr. Albert Rizzo, the ALA provided information about how COVID-19 symptoms progress, how long recovery usually takes and how

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Trump Started on Dexamethasone, Has ‘Expected’ Lung Findings

President Trump was administered dexamethasone therapy for COVID-19 treatment, and had two episodes of low oxygen saturation levels that required supplemental oxygen, said doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center at a press conference on Sunday.

“In response to transient low oxygen levels, we did initiate dexamethasone therapy [and] our plan is to continue that for the time being,” said Brian Garibaldi, MD, of Johns Hopkins University. He also confirmed the president received his second dose of remdesivir.

White House physician Sean Conley, DO, said the team “debated on whether or not to start” dexamethasone, but added, “the potential benefits probably outweighed any risk at this time.”

Dexamethasone is a low-cost steroid that has shown the most benefit for the sickest patients with COVID-19. According to the U.K.’s RECOVERY trial, incidence of mortality was significantly lower for patients receiving mechanical ventilation, and those receiving supplemental oxygen without mechanical ventilation, but there

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Immunotherapy drug boosts survival for lung cancer patients

A newly approved drug for the leading form of the number one cancer killer, lung cancer, does improve patient survival, a new study confirms.

The immunotherapy drug Tecentriq, or atezolizumab, was approved earlier this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancers, or NSCLC, which comprise up to 85% of all lung tumors.

Tecentriq targets a protein known as PD-L1 that lies on the surface of tumor cells. Normally, this protein signals the body’s immune system T cells not to attack. However, by targeting PD-L1, Tecentriq unleashes the body’s natural T cells to target and destroy these cancer cells, researchers at Yale Cancer Center explained.

Tecentriq “has already shown excellent activity in patients who progress on frontline chemotherapy, but this study confirmed that the drug is active in selected patients who have not yet received any treatment for lung cancer,”

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Slow Lung Decline Typical in Systemic Sclerosis

The interstitial lung disease that develops in a subset of patients with systemic sclerosis tends to be heterogeneous, with the majority of patients experiencing a slow pattern of decline in lung function, analysis of outcomes in the European Scleroderma Trials and Research (EUSTAR) database found.

Among patients with available lung function data for 12 months of follow-up, 12% had significant progression of decline in forced vital capacity (FVC), meaning a decline of more than 10%; 15% had moderate progression (decline of 5% to 10%); 48% were stable (decline or improvement of less than 5%); and 25% showed improvement (increase of 5% or more), noted Oliver Distler, MD, of University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland, and colleagues.

And over 5 years of follow-up, 58% of patients showed a slow pattern of decline, with more 12-month periods of stability or improvement than of decline, the researchers reported in their study online in Annals

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