• Feasibility of Retinoids in the Treatment of Emphysema (FORTE)
  • Wes Shull shared with us this letter he received in response to a request for an update of the FORTE research. As many of you know, this research is aimed at determining whether a way can be found to stimulate the lung to grow new tissue and improve its function. We know that you also will be interested. Thanks, Wes.
  • "This is in response to your inquiry about the results of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute funded study "Feasibility of Retinoids in the Treatment of Emphysema." The Feasibility of Retinoids in the Treatment of Emphysema (FORTE) is a multi center program of preliminary studies to determine whether conducting a larger, controlled, clinical trial on the efficacy of retinoic acid therapy in the management of emphysema is possible and indicated. FORTE finished recruiting participants on July 1, 2002. The last enrolled participants will be followed until May 2003, after which the investigators will collate, analyze, and interpret the data. The investigators expect to release results early in 2004. No interim results have been released. Because this was designed as a feasibility study, it is possible that the results will be inconclusive as to the risk and benefit of retinoids in emphysema. What we hope to learn from FORTE includes questions like: which retinoid, and what dose should be used, if a larger, definitive study were conducted? How should the retinoid be given? What measurement should be followed to look for an effect? Is retinoid too toxic in patients with emphysema to conduct a larger study? What kinds of patients with emphysema should be studied? How many patients with emphysema would be needed to conduct a meaningful study, that is a study powerful enough so that the investigators can be sure the results have general applicability? These are the kinds of questions that the FORTE investigators expect to address at the end of the study.
  • Thank you for your interest in this program.
  • Gail G Weinmann, MD
    Director, ABDP, MSC 7952