Fibroproliferative disorders are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A large group of interstitial lung diseases (ILD) can cause progressive scarring of lung tissues, affecting the ability to breathe. Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is one of the major forms of ILD and is characterized by a progressive decline in lung function. Although the pathogenesis of IPF is not completely understood, work from our group and others suggest that transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-?1) is involved in the fibrogenic process.
Iron-overload disorders, such as hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) and beta-thalassemia, develops when the body absorbs excessive iron over years. They are quite common with a prevalence of 1/200 in population of northern-European ancestry and 1/500 worldwide respectively. Without treatment, iron-overload can lead to diabetes, heart disease or cirrhosis. Main treatment for HH is phlebotomy and patients need frequent visits in clinic.
Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a common blood disorder characterized by low platelet counts and an increased risk of bleeding. Many patients with ITP can be maintained with conventional therapies, but when an invasive procedure or surgery is planned, a short course of treatment is needed to rapidly increase platelet counts preoperatively so that dangerous bleeds can be prevented (termed ‘bridging’ therapy).