Café Scientifique on the future of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis proves a hit with audience

Personalised medicine and artificial intelligence were just some of the talking points at an evening event with Professor Toby Maher, a respiratory consultant at the Trust who specialises in Interstitial Lung Diseases. 

The event, known as a Café Scientifique, is an opportunity for patients and the wider public to explore the latest information into a particular area of research and was held at Royal Brompton Hospital on Tuesday 20th November.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) was the topic of discussion, a disease caused by a build-up of scar tissue in the lungs called fibrosis. The fibrosis causes the lungs to become stiffer and lose elasticity, making them less able to inflate and take oxygen from the air.

Royal Brompton hosts one of the largest clinics in the country for the disease and is a hotbed for research. Professor Maher, who is a leading expert in the field and who leads on several clinical trials, began the evening by giving a brief history of the condition and how Royal Brompton Hospital became a leading centre for its treatment.

After a short overview from Professor Maher, where he touched on everything from suspected causes of the disease, current treatments as well as the future of research, the discussion was opened up to the audience.

Questions included why research into the disease is so underfunded to how clinical trials for new drugs might affect those already on new drugs.

Feedback from attendees was very positive with individuals commenting that they enjoyed being able to ask questions in a relaxed setting outside of a busy clinic environment.

Professor Maher has always made a strong case for patient engagement having hosted several patient engagement days for patients who have taken part in his clinical trials.

“The evening was a great opportunity to share the research we do in the hospital with the people for whom it matters most; patients and their carers. I really enjoyed the lively discussion and look forward to repeating the experience again in the future.” Professor Maher said.

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