The Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF), the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) and the Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network (HPS Network) joined forces to co-sponsor Fibrosis Across Organs, a first of its kind scientific symposium exploring the possible common disease pathways of fibrosis in all organ systems, March 8-11, 2012 in Denver. The event was convened by the American Thoracic Society (ATS).
Fibrosis can affect the lung, liver, kidney, heart, skin and other areas of the body and claims millions of lives globally. Most fibrotic diseases are progressive, irreversible and ultimately deadly. These high level discussions, experts believe, will advance the understanding of related fibrotic mechanisms and lead to treatment of fibrotic diseases. The meeting brought together top scientists, researchers and physicians from academia, clinical practice and industry to identify the shared molecular and physiologic responses operative during tissue injury and repair. More than 60 participants from around the world attended the meeting.
The meeting's objectives were to set the scientific priorities for future investigations in single organ and cross-organ fibrotic disease, assess the currently available experimental models and their relevance to human health and disease and to identify potential promising therapies for pathologic tissue fibrosis, including pulmonary fibrosis (PF) or lung fibrosis and fibrosis that occurs in the heart, liver, kidney and skin.
"If fibrosis could be cured by determination, this meeting would be the end of (fibrotic) disease," said Donna Appell, CEO and Founder of the Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network. "It is my hope that this meeting inspires many productive areas in fibrosis research."
The meeting was organized by a group of physicians, academic experts and patient advocates, including the meeting's founders, John Tosi, DDS and his wife, Teresa Barnes who chairs the ATS Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR) and is vice president of the CPF. Other committee organizers were Kevin Brown, M.D., a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health; Dennis E. Doherty, M.D., pulmonologist at University of Kentucky and the Lexington, Kentucky Veteran's Administration (VA) Medical Centers; and Dolly Kervitsky, RCP, CCRC, an experienced respiratory therapist who is vice president of the PFF.