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Growth factors in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: relative roles

Keywords: alveolar epithelial cell , apoptosis , growth factor , idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis , myofibroblast

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Treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients has evolved very slowly; the fundamental approach of corticosteroids alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive agents has had little impact on long-term survival. The continued use of corticosteroids is justified because of the lack of a more effective alternative. Current research indicates that the mechanisms driving idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis reflect abnormal, dysregulated wound healing within the lung, involving increased activity and possibly exaggerated responses by a spectrum of profibrogenic growth factors. An understanding of the roles of these growth factors, and the way in which they modulate events at cellular level, could lead to more targeted therapeutic strategies, improving patients' quality of life and survival.


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