Research Projects

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Research Project

The Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has partnered with the University Health Network’s Interstitial Lung Diseases Clinic at Toronto General Hospital to support their Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease research project. This initiative shows great promise to better understand Pulmonary Fibrosis and we are proud and honored to support an initiative which we believe offers great hope in identifying treatment for this deadly disease.

It is with your generous support the Foundation was able to present Dr. Shane Shapera, MD, FRCPC and Dr. Ted Marras, BSC, MD, MSC, FRCPC with a $52,000 research grant to fund this amazing study.

Project update:

The role of GERD in the development of IPF has become quite an exciting and controversial topic in IPF since the CPFF provided this grant in 2010.  The GERD study was presented at the American Thoracic Society Conference in Washington D.C. in May 2017 by Dr. Terrence Lee and Dr. Jolene Fisher (CPFF Medical Advisory Board member). The results were quite interesting.

In brief, they found that many patients with IPF have both acid and non-acid reflux episodes. Non-acid reflux contains some stomach juices and enzymes that we use to digest food. The high frequency of acid reflux was known before, but the study was the first to show the high prevalence of non-acid reflux in patients treated with antacids.

If it turns out to be true that non-acid reflux is one of the causes of IPF, then our data may help to explain why treatment with antacids have yielded such mixed results in clinical trials. Antacid therapy might only be treating the acidic component of the reflux and ignoring the non-acid component of the reflux.

The article reference is Am J Respir Crit Care Med 193;2016:A2709