The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s PFF Summit 2017 Nov. 9-11 in Nashville, Tennessee, recorded an unprecedented number of attendees, including physicians, researchers, patients, caregivers and industry professionals. The lung disease summit takes place every other year.
The nearly 900 members of the pulmonary fibrosis (PF) community who attended the event discussed the future of PF care, research, and technology, and reflected a 27 percent attendance increase over the 2015 Summit.
People from 46 states and 12 countries presented their research. They also announced innovations, new partnerships, and technology-based solutions.
The event was an opportunity to present and learn about the latest scientific findings. Of the 76 scientific poster presentations received, the top six got to present their research at special sessions. One poster won the “winning presentation” title, and its presenter, Taylor Adams of Yale University, School of Medicine, talked about his single cell RNA-sequencing project in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
Another highlight was the debate about the expansion of PFF’s Care Center Network (CCN), a group of 40 specialized centers for PF patients.
“The Care Centers are an opportunity to partner with the foundation and to partner with each other to move the care and understanding of pulmonary fibrosis forward,” Dr. Gregory P. Cosgrove, MD, chief medical officer of the PFF, said in a press release.
“As part of our quest to provide patients with access to care less than two hours from their homes, we will open an application cycle for new Care Center Network sites in January,” Cosgrove added.
The PFF also announced a new partnership with monARC Bionetworks to launch the beta version of a mobile app, called PF Health, to accelerate clinical trials and research on PF by making it simpler for patients to share their health data remotely with researchers. The mobile app will also provide access to PFF’s information and trusted education materials.
Additionally, the summit was the chosen event to inform the public that the first round of studies using data from the PFF Patient Registry is now underway, with more than 1,500 patients enrolled. The goal is 2,000. These studies will investigate the use of anti-fibrotic medications, the importance of distance from specialized care in CCN sites, prognostic biomarkers, biorepository samples, and more.
“Our patient community is willing to aid research by participating in studies and clinical trials,” said William T. Schmidt, president and chief executive officer of PFF.
The PFF Summit 2017 received support from The Pete DeVito Memorial Foundation, PFF Summit Circle Supporters, the Hales Family Foundation, and the Chuck and Monica McQuaid Family Foundation, as well as from pharmaceutical companies currently developing therapies for pulmonary fibrosis.