Industry Watch

 Published: September 22, 2021

By: Debbie Bunch

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Dräger Honors Memory of Robert Kacmarek, PhD, RRT, FAARC

The late Robert Kacmarek, PhD, RRT, FAARC, made a massive mark on the respiratory care profession through his hundreds of research studies and presentations and his role as professor of respiratory care at Harvard Medical School and director of respiratory care at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Now Dräger is honoring that legacy with the donation of a Babylog VN500 ventilator to each respiratory care school program in the state of Massachusetts.

“Robert Kacmarek was a driving force in furthering the RT profession, championing the advancement of higher education in the field, conducting decades of research on respiratory care interventions, and training hundreds of students,” said Dräger Senior Vice President of Sales, Hospital Solutions Steve Menet. “Through our donation of Babylog VN500 ventilators, we honor his legacy and support education of the next generation of respiratory care professionals by enabling them to train on advanced ventilation technology.”

Jason Moury, MPH, RRT, president of the Massachusetts Society for Respiratory Care, expressed thanks for the donations on behalf of the RT community.

“Bob was a humble giant who advocated for the profession and was world-renowned for his teaching. Words cannot express the loss that this profession will feel with his passing. We cannot thank Dräger enough for its donation.” Read More

Novel Lung Cancer Treatment Receives NCI Funding

A National Cancer Institute (NCI) $2.5 million grant will enable researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center to develop a novel therapy for lung cancer. The treatment focuses on a small drug-like molecule that disrupts the DNA repair pathways that allow lung cancer cells to continue replicating and tumors to grow.

“The novel therapeutics we are developing would treat patients who often have limited therapeutic options, which include smoking-induced lung cancers,” said lead investigator John Turchi, Ph.D. “When we can inhibit replication protein A from binding to single-stranded DNA during this replication stress, we can induce massive cell death — and that’s specific to cancer, which gives us our therapeutic window.” Read More

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Stem Cell Treatment for COVID-19 ARDS in the Works

A team of researchers from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine is conducting a multicenter clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells in treating COVID-19 patients with ARDS. The Phase 2b/3 trial is FDA approved and will enroll 128 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Florida, Arizona, Texas, and other states and experience a sudden drop in blood oxygen levels. In a Phase 1/2a trial, the treatment, which is thought to block severe lung inflammation, improved survival rates from 42% to 91%. It was 100% effective in improving survival for those under age 85, and time to recovery also improved. The researchers believe the treatment may one day help treat other patients with ARDS as well. Read More

ALA Teams Up with Sanofi on Pertussis Vaccination Campaign

The American Lung Association (ALA) has launched a new campaign in conjunction with Sanofi to educate adults about the need for a pertussis vaccine, particularly those who suffer from chronic lung diseases like asthma. The ALA notes that only 31% of adults in the U.S. received a pertussis vaccine over the past decade.

“Through the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been reminded how critical vaccination is to help protect ourselves from preventable infectious diseases. Pertussis is one of these diseases,” said Vitali Pool, MD, director of scientific and medical affairs at Sanofi Pasteur. “We are proud to be partnering with the American Lung Association on this initiative that helps to educate about pertussis and the importance of protecting yourself from it by talking to your doctor about getting a Tdap vaccine, especially if you have asthma.” Read More

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Debbie Bunch

Debbie Bunch is an AARC contributor who writes feature articles, news stories, and other content for Newsroom, the AARC website, and associated emailed newsletters. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, photography, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. Connect with Debbie by email or on AARConnect or LinkedIn.

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