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PHCentral News is gathered daily to bring you the latest developments in pulmonary hypertension treatments and research as well as stories we think are useful on an array of topics.  Under current news, you will find a dynamic list of stories for the last thirty (30) days.  You will find older news stories in our archives.    Stories about specific treatments can also be found in the medical section.

If you run across a PH news story we've missed or important story with broad appeal, please send us the link and we'll make sure it gets added.   Send news:  contact/info+phcentral+org.



  • August 30, 2016
  • New Understanding of Pulmonary Hypertension Leads to Promising Drug Targets
  • (UPMC) A groundbreaking new study led by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC has identified a new group of compounds that could have robust effects in treating pulmonary hypertension (PH), an enigmatic but sometimes fatal disease of the blood vessels of the lungs that currently has no cure. The findings, which were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, highlight the use of these drugs to alter vessel stiffness and its downstream control of metabolism, a link previously unknown for people suffering from the progressive disease.
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  • High-Fat Diet in Diabetic Moms May Add to Risk of Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborn
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) To better understand the possible association between obesity, diabetes, and PPHN, a research team at the University of South Dakota studied pregnant rats with gestational diabetes being fed a high-fat diet. They found that these rats gave birth to offspring with pulmonary complications, which lasted the three weeks they were alive.
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  • Experts seek origin of pulmonary hypertension to design treatment
  • (Trib Live) Dr. Stephen Chan, director of UPMC's Center for Pulmonary Vascular Biology and Medicine, is leading a team using new strategies to target the origins of the disease in search for a cure.  In a paper published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, he outlines how two compounds, known as verteporfin and CH-839, show promise in impeding the chain of events that leads from initial stiffness in the arteries to changes in metabolism to heart failure. Doctors have used the compounds to treat cancer and macular degeneration, an eye disease.
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  • August 29, 2016
  • Blocking a Stress-response Protein Found to Treat PH in Animal Model
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) People with pulmonary arterial  hypertension (PAH) have higher than usual levels of a protein produced in cells in response to shock or stress — called heat shock protein 90 or HSP90 — and diminishing those levels helped to prevent pulmonary hypertension from progressing in a rat model of the disease, researchers reported.
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  • 2 Possible New Treatments for Pulmonary Hypertension ID’d in Study
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Researchers identified two new drugs, both signaling inhibitors, that could aid in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension (PH) by altering vessel stiffness and its downstream control of metabolism. Their work also suggests that a previously unknown link exists between vessel hardening and energy production in the disease.
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  • August 26, 2016
  • Phase 2 Trial Recruiting Scleroderma Patients with PAH in Test of Rituxan
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Rituxan is an immunotherapy drug in the form of an antibody against the CD20 molecule, found on the surface of certain immune cells. The drug can prevent the actions of these immune cells...
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  • August 25, 2016
  • Riociguat (Adempas): not for use in patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with idiopathic interstitial pneumonias
  • (Gov.UK) Patients with pulmonary hypertension associated with idiopathic interstitial pneumonias should not be treated with riociguat in light of interim results from a recently terminated study.
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  • August 24, 2016
  • Dual-energy CT imaging of pulmonary hypertension
  • (Swiss Medical Weekly) Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) of the chest combines morph­ological analysis with functional information on pulmonary perfusion. This review describes how DECT imaging with perfusion maps may play an important role in pulmonary hypertension.
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  • Babies with Down Syndrome May Be at Risk of PAH Before Birth
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) During their development, babies who will be born with Down syndrome have higher levels of anti-angiogenic factors in their lungs, impairing fetal lung vessel growth and potentially contributing to their developing pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), researchers report.
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  • Findings Associated with Pulmonary Hypertension: CT Angiography Based Study
  • (Open Journal of Radiology) It was found that CT angiography has a significant role in the diagnostic evaluation of these groups of patients. CT imaging is acceptably used in diagnosis, defining cause, quantifying heart segments and parenchyma changes in order to assess the feasibility of surgery, monitoring and therapeutic planning.
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  • August 23, 2016
  • PhaseBio Announces Dosing of First Patients in Two-Part Phase 2a Study of PB1046 in Cardiopulmonary Disorders
  • (Pharmiweb) PB1046 has been shown to be highly effective in animal models of hypertension, pulmonary arterial hypertension and heart failure, with positive cardiac inotropic (contractility) and lusitropic (relaxation) effects without an increase in myocardial oxygen demand. Additional pre-clinical data demonstrated that chronic administration of PB1046 in a murine model of DMD (mdx mouse) significantly slowed the deterioration of cardiac function.
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  •  Actelion (ALIOF) Uptravi Approved for PAH in Switzerland
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  • August 22, 2016
  • Discovery of infants' airway microbiomes may help predict lung disease
  • (Medical Xpress) In contrast to the general belief that the airways of an infant are sterile until after birth, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers and colleagues have found that the infant airway is already colonized with bacteria or bacterial DNA when a baby is born—and this is true for infants born as early as 24 weeks gestation.
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  • Study Identifies Link Between Antidepressants and Newborn Hypertension
  • (Mad in America) It is estimated that as many as 15% of all women experience some form of depression during pregnancy and that ten percent of women of childbearing age are currently being treated for depression in the United States. Pregnant women experiencing the symptoms associated with depression are in need of good care. Untreated depression has been linked to complications in pregnancy and to long-term health and behavioral issues in offspring.
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  • August 19, 2016
  • Blocking a Stress-response Protein Found to Treat PH in Animal Model
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) People with pulmonary arterial  hypertension (PAH) have higher than usual levels of a protein produced in cells in response to shock or stress — called heat shock protein 90 or HSP90 — and diminishing those levels helped to prevent pulmonary hypertension from progressing in a rat model of the disease, researchers reported.
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  • Breathing problems? Summer makes it worse
  • (Gaston Gazette) Summer is a great time to be outdoors. But scorching temperatures, along with poor air quality, are dangerous combinations this time of year, especially for people with breathing problems. If you’ve watched the news lately, there have been warnings about “ozone-advisory” or “code orange” denoting potentially dangerous air quality conditions. Ozone, a molecule created by chemical reactions between pollutants in the area and organic compounds in the atmosphere, can be dangerous to your health, especially at high concentrations. The summer months tend to be the times when concentrations are highest due to the increase in temperatures and sunlight.
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  • August 18, 2016
  • Reata Releases Update on Clinical Program, Including Phase 2 Study in PH and PAH Patients
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Bardoxolone methyl is being developed for patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), or high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. PAH patients are known to have mitochondrial dysfunction, activated inflammatory pathways that lead to oxidative stress, increased proliferation of smooth muscle cells, and fibrosis. 
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  • Elderly Hospital Patients Arrive Sick, Often Leave Disabled
  • (MedPage Today) Many elderly patients deteriorate mentally or physically in the hospital, even if they recover from the original illness or injury that brought them there. About one-third of patients over 70 years old and more than half of patients over 85 leave the hospital more disabled than when they arrived, research shows.
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  • August 17, 2016
  • Statins May Boost Efficacy of Rho-Kinase Inhibitors in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) It is thought that Rho-kinases play an important role in PAH pathology by participating in the contraction and proliferation of the muscle cells that line the pulmonary arteries.
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  • August 16, 2016
  • Endothelin-1 Levels Seen as Risk Marker for Pulmonary Hypertension in African-Americans
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Although drugs blocking endothelin receptors, such as Tracleer (bosentan) and Opsumit (macitentan), are used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), where scientists have noted higher levels of the blood vessel factor, it is far from clear that endothelin-1 is linked to other types of lung hypertension.
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  • August 15, 2016
  • New, Simplified Testing Method for Rare Genetic Mutations Enhances Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension
  • (EIN News) The new testing method is a significant improvement for patients because it utilizes a simple blood sample, eliminating the need for a much more invasive lung biopsy that was previously required to test for the genetic mutation.
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  • August 12, 2016
  • Orenitram Tablets Again Found to Be Viable Treatment Option for Stable PAH Patients
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) Orenitram extended-release tablets were approved in 2013 for PAH patients in WHO Group 1, despite evidence from clinical trials showing it was not overly effective. But later analyses demonstrated that patients in the trials had likely received doses that were too low, and studies proving the feasibility of switching from injection to oral versions continued.
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  • August 11, 2016
  • Ex-Smokers With COPD Have Persistent Endothelial Distress
  • (http://www.medpagetoday.com/clinical-context/COPD/59447) Pulmonary capillary programmed cell death was mostly reversible in healthy smokers who kicked the habit, but not in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who quit smoking, according to findings from a longitudinal study.
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  • August 10, 2016
  • Teaming Up to Treat Pulmonary Emboli Clotbusters Illustrates Potential of Coordinated Response Programs
  • (Cardiovascular) Too often, massive and submassive pulmonary emboli (PEs) are undertreated, or not treated at all. In 2014, Detroit Medical Center (DMC) launched Clotbusters to improve outcomes for these patients. Today, Clotbusters patients have a mortality rate of 10-14 percent, compared with 60 percent for patients treated with usual care. 
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  • August 9, 2016
  • Persistent severe pulmonary hypertension strong predictor of post-TAVR mortality
  • (Healio) In patients who undergo transcatheter aortic valve replacement, the persistence of severe pulmonary hypertension after the procedure may be a stronger predictor of 1-year mortality compared with severe pulmonary hypertension at baseline. 
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  • August 8, 2016
  • Elevated plasma endothelin-1 levels may predict poor outcomes in black adults
  • (Healio) Using data from the Jackson Heart Study, the researchers investigated the relationship between plasma endothelin-1 levels with pulmonary hypertension, mortality and HF admissions in 3,223 black adults (33% men) living in Jackson, Mississippi
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  • Research to improve treatment for millions of lung disease patients
  • (Medical Xpress) A four-dimensional lung scanning platform developed at Monash University by Professor Andreas Fouras has been commercialised by his medical technology company 4Dx. The scanning platform is now giving a Monash-led research team new insights into improved treatment
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  • August 5, 2016
  • Inhibiting a Specific Molecular Chaperone May Help Treat PAH
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) HSP90 is a protein involved in a variety of physiological cellular processes, but can also be involved in pathologies such as cancer.
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  • Constitutively active form of natriuretic peptide receptor 2 ameliorates experimental pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • (PubMed) We recently found a constitutively active mutant of natriuretic peptide receptor 2 (caNPR2; V883M), which synthesizes larger amounts of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) intracellularly without any ligand stimulation than existing drugs. The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effects of gene transduction using caNPR2 for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
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  • August 4, 2016
  • Inhibition of heat shock protein 90 improves pulmonary arteriole remodeling in pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • (Oncotarget) While the molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) is involved in a multitude of physiological and pathological processes, its role relating to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effect in which HSP90 improves pulmonary arteriole remodeling, and explored the therapeutic utility of targeting HSP90 as therapeutic drug for PAH.
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  • 4 Things Not to Say to Someone with Pulmonary Hypertension
  • (Pulmonary Hypertension News) I found that after I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, I received a bunch of off-brand advice. I realize the majority of what I heard from others was an attempt to make the situation better. Unfortunately, some of the words I received at times have been hurtful despite the well intentions behind them.
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  • August 3, 2016
  • Mitochondrial transplantation attenuates hypoxic pulmonary hypertension
  • (Oncotarget) Mitochondria are essential for the onset of hypoxia-induced pulmonary vasoconstriction and pulmonary vascular-remodeling, two major aspects underlying the development of pulmonary hypertension, an incurable disease. However, hypoxia induces relaxation of systemic arteries such as femoral arteries and mitochondrial heterogeneity controls the distinct responses of pulmonary versus femoral artery smooth muscle cells to hypoxia in vitro. The aim of this study was to determine whether mitochondrial heterogeneity can be experimentally exploited in vivo for a potential treatment against pulmonary hypertension.
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  • August 2, 2016
  • Harnessing the Immune System to Fight Cancer
  • (The New York Times) Hundreds of clinical trials involving immunotherapy, alone or combined with other treatments, are underway for nearly every type of cancer. “People are asking, waiting, pleading to get into these trials,” said Dr. Arlene Siefker-Radtke, an oncologist at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who specializes in bladder cancer.
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  • August 1, 2016
  • Critical role of tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 in the pathogenesis of pulmonary emphysema in mice
  • (Dove Press) Abstract: COPD is a major cause of chronic morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Although tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) has a critical role in the development of COPD, the role of different TNF receptors (TNFRs) in pulmonary emphysema has not been resolved. We aimed to clarify the role of TNFRs in the development of pulmonary emphysema. TNF-α transgenic mice, a murine model of COPD in which the mice spontaneously develop emphysema with a large increase in lung volume and pulmonary hypertension...
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