Retinoids, a derivative of vitamin A, may provide little clinical benefit for patients with emphysema, shows a new study.
In the “Feasibility of Retinoids for the Treatment of Emphysema” (FORTE) study, researchers from David Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles enrolled 148 subjects with moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with a primary component of emphysema.
Patients received all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) at either a low or high dose, 13-cis retinoic acid (13-cRA), or placebo for 6 months followed by a 3-month crossover period. At the end of 6 months, no treatment was associated with an overall improvement in pulmonary function, CT density mask score, or health-related quality of life (HRQL). However, time- and dose-dependent changes in diffusing capacity, CT density mask score, and HRQL were observed in patients treated with ATRA, suggesting the possibility of exposure-related biologic activity. This study appears in the November issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.