The University of Sydney
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From Test Tube to Treatment – 20 March 2007 - Cystic Fibrosis & Asthma

The third of these informative seminars held in conjunction with the Bosch Institute, focused on Cystic Fibrosis & Asthma. This gave an opportunity for more of the Fund's supporters and members of the general public to hear about the work of
Mark Elkins, 2006 winner of the Fund's Prize for Discovery in Medical Research for his work on cystic fibrosis. In addition, Professor Peter Bye gave a related presentation about other work underway to improve the quality of life of CF suffers with the aim of maintaining optimum health for ultimate bilateral lung transplantation.

In the second half of the program Professor Christine Jenkins from the CRC for Asthma and Airways at the Woolcock Institute spoke about a study carried out to ascertain the efficacy of "breathing techniques" in the management of asthma. She outlined why the study was undertaken, the results and implications for asthma management.

The evening concluded with a presentation by
Professor Judy Black, NHMRC Snr Principal Research Fellow in Pharmacology, University of Sydney. Professor Black focused on asthma sufferers whose disease control is not optimal despite the significant advances in Asthma therapy now helping the majority of sufferers. In particular she concentrated on those suffering from a rare disorder commonly known as LAM (Lymphangioleiomyomatosis) which, because of its similarities to asthma, is often mis-diagnosed and treated as asthma.

LAM is a disorder of unknown origins, characterized by an unusual type of muscle cell that invades the tissues of the lungs, including the airways and blood and lymph vessels. Over time, these muscle cells obstruct the flow of air, preventing the lungs from providing oxygen to the rest of the body. LAM occurs almost exclusively in women, usually between the onset of puberty and menopause. Because the disease affects women, scientists believe it is hormonally related.

Further information about LAM can be found at The Lam Foundation and at The American Lung Association.