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SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 5, 2015) — UT Medicine San Antonio today announced it is a new member of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation’s PFF Care Center Network. This designation recognizes UT Medicine as a leader in providing the highest quality of care for pulmonary fibrosis patients in South and Central Texas.
UT Medicine is the academic clinical practice of the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Pulmonary fibrosis patients at UT Medicine benefit from the comprehensive care of School of Medicine faculty physician subspecialists in multiple disciplines, including general and transplant pulmonologists, rheumatologists, pathologists, radiologists and thoracic surgeons.
“Pulmonary fibrosis is a scarring process of the lung,” said UT Medicine pulmonologist Anoop Nambiar, M.D., the PFF Care Center director and assistant professor of medicine. “These patients develop shortness of breath, coughing and a decrease in their exercise tolerance. Their lungs become stiff, and they ultimately develop respiratory failure.
“There are more than 200 different causes of pulmonary fibrosis,” he explained. “If no cause can be identified, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, which has a prognosis worse than many common cancers.”
The PFF Care Center will seek to educate the public about these symptoms and increase awareness among community physicians, with the goal to have these patients referred early and quickly to a center of excellence such as UT Medicine for their care, Dr. Nambiar said.
“Since pulmonary fibrosis is relatively rare compared to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, there is often considerable uncertainty about establishing a timely and accurate diagnosis and management plan,” he said.
Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Care Centers deliver the highest quality of care by a multidisciplinary diagnostic approach and patient-centered management plan, including access to a lung transplant program and cutting-edge clinical trials.
Pulmonary fibrosis has no cure, although UT Medicine participated in clinical trials that led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of a drug in 2014 that can slow, though not cure, the disease.
The PFF Care Center Network now includes 40 leading medical centers, including three in Texas: UT Medicine San Antonio, the UT Health Science Center at Houston and the UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Jay Peters, M.D., professor of medicine, is associate director of the UT Medicine center of excellence.
The PFF Care Center of UT Medicine provides services at the Medical Arts & Research Center, 8300 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78229.