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Our Legacy of Discovery

NO TIME TO CATCH OUR BREATH. Since our very beginnings, The Lung Association has helped to make pulmonary history. Time and again, we have challenged the boundaries of what’s possible through groundbreaking research. We were the first to produce public health vaccines. We performed the very first single lung transplant. And we were responsible for discovering the gene that causes cystic fibrosis. Today, we are on the threshold of discovery in many other critical areas. With the statistics on lung disease moving in the wrong direction, we can’t let up for a minute. 

The Lung Association, with its supporters, has helped create some remarkable breathing breakthroughs over the decades.


 

1892

Asthma characterized as an inflammatory disease

 

1907

First bronchoscopy performed
(bronchoscopes are used to visualize airways in the lungs)

 

1914

First public health vaccines produced
Field of thoracic surgery developed

 

1933

First successful single-stage, total pneumonectomy performed
(lung excision as a treatment for lung cancer)

 

1938

First large scale clinical trial of Bacille Calmetter-Guerin (BCG) vaccine
(anti-tuberculosis vaccine)

 

1940

Pulmonary damage causes by smoking identified
Early diagnosis of TB through chest X-rays

 

1941

First combined vaccines developed
(immunize against diphtheria, whooping cough, and tetanus)

 

1959

Discovery of vinblastine, a plant extract that is part of
many chemotherapy regimens for patients with lung cancer

 

1970

First successful trials of cyclosporine –
anti-rejection drug
used in lung transplants

 

1976

Developed a high fat diet for children with cystic fibrosis (CF) that was
adopted worldwide and reduced malnutrition rates for CF patients

 

1978

Development of the AeroChamber
(device used to administer aerosolized medication to patients with asthma)

 

1979

Development of the high frequency oscillator – a novel ventilator –
that was used to gently “shake” oxygen into the lungs of children with severe
lung disease to prevent them from undergoing lung bypass procedures

 

1983

First successful single lung transplant

 

1989

Discovery of the gene that causes cystic fibrosis

 

1992

Discovery that the cystic fibrosis gene produces a protein that functions as a pore and mediates normal fluid in airways, gastrointestinal tracts and sweat ducts

 

2003

Development of the first draft sequence of the SARS virus

 

2005

Development of the world’s first upper respiratory viral panel test
that could accurately diagnose twenty human respiratory viruses

 

2009

A combined therapy using epinephrine and dexamethasone significantly reduces hospitalization admissions for infants who enter the hospital for bronchiolitis

 


 

What will tomorrow bring?