A group of dedicated and passionate experts have joined forces to develop the Pulmonary Fibrosis Australasian Clinical Trials Network (PACT) to search for cutting-edge treatments that will improve the quality of life and outcomes for people living with Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Thoracic and Transplant Physician and Chair of the PACT, Prof Dan Chambers said, currently, the treatments for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) are limited and merely slow the disease.
“What we’re hoping for is a treatment that not only slows or stops it, but reverses what’s already happened,” Dan said.
“The PACT is a coming together of experts in IPF to really change the outlook for patients living with IPF, their families and carers, as well as health professionals, through designing and implementing clinical trials,” he said.
“The role of the PACT is simply to connect patients who have IPF with clinical trial sites and the sponsors or investigators who are running trials. There are multiple trials which you’ll find listed on the PACT website.”
Thanks to clinical trials and research, Kevin Harrison, who was diagnosed with IPF in September 2014, is fortunate to have access to a treatment known as antifibrotic medication.
“It was fantastic news for me and such a relief that a medication was finally available,” Kevin said.
“This medication means I can continue to do the things I love. I can watch my grandkids grow up and play sports like netball, rugby union and AFL. I can exercise regularly, build out under the house and head down to the local bowls club.”
Whilst the medication Kevin is on slows the progression of IPF, it’s not a cure, but clinical trials are providing hope for the future.
“In 2016, I was privileged to be chosen to be part of a clinical trial, and more recently I’ve started another trial which is really exciting – I might have even shed a tear or two!” Kevin said.
“It is such a huge relief to fit the eligibility criteria and be chosen to participate in these clinical trials. I am being monitored daily, weekly and monthly which I am so very grateful for.
“The in-depth nature of each visit is encouraging with the thorough research that takes place – from interviews and questionnaires, blood and urine samples to timed walks, breath analysis and ECGs.
“The support and back up from Dan and the nurses Sandy, Deb and Tracie is also second to none.
“Sooner or later the trials will unearth a cure and if I can be part of this journey then I am a very lucky person. The possibility of helping many others on the way is extremely rewarding.”
For Dan, being a part of the PACT and helping fulfil its mission is a rewarding part of his career.
“I’m really excited about what the future holds for patients with IPF. I think we can make big in-roads into not only survival but quality of life which will make a huge difference for patients suffering from IPF and of course their families and carers,” Dan said.
To be eligible for a clinical trial, you must meet the specific criteria of that trial. To find out more or become a member visit: pact.lungfoundation.com.au
The PACT is an initiative of the Centre of Research Excellence in Pulmonary Fibrosis (CRE-PF), sponsored by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).