ALLENTOWN, Pa., Aug. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2003, Matthew W was diagnosed with Stage-3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma at age 15. He was treated with chemotherapy and radiation but suffered two relapses in six years. As a result, in 2006 he received a bone marrow transplant using his own bone marrow (autologous) and in 2009 received another transplant, this time from a donor (allogeneic).
In 2015 Matt began to experience a decline in his lung function do to a complication known as Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD). The most common complications of GvHD are skin rash and diarrhea which tend to show up early and are manageable. Although much less common, GvHD can cause severe pulmonary complications, scaring of the lungs and decreased lung function. The disease can progress to the point where a patient needs a lung transplant.
One can live with their lungs only functioning at a capacity of 65%. Matt's lung capacity, because of the GvHD, was down to 20%. "Basically, my donated immune system (graft) started attacking my native lungs (host)," explained Matt.
One of the best ways to spot problems with the lungs is via spirometry. At home monitoring of lung function post bone marrow transplant has the potential to alert doctors and patients to early warning signs of decreased lung function. Matt explained that "Patient's don't often notice lung function decline until it has progressed significantly. Early detection is essential to spot and successfully treat pulmonary complications caused by GvHD."
Incredibly, Matt's 14-year battle with cancer has served him well at his job at Duke University Health System where he is a clinical research coordinator in the Bone Marrow Transplant Department. His personal experience enables him to relate to patients who are experiencing what he has dealt with himself.
Matt and his research colleagues at Duke plan to conduct a trial to remotely monitor lung function utilizing PMD Healthcare's Spiro PD 2.0 Spirometer and remote monitoring Wellness Management Services Platform with the hopes of identify lung function decline sooner than pulmonary function tests done less frequently in the clinic.
Matt said he was grateful to have his Spiro PD 2.0 because it let him know his lung function was low but stable. In June of this year Matt received a successful double lung transplant and is now breathing a lot easier!
"Home monitoring devices engage patients in their care and help them track their own progress. In a couple of years, it won't be if you are using spirometry at home, it will be which spirometer you choose to send patients home with," said Meg Telfer, PMD's Key Account Director.