Interstitial Lung Disease
It is our pleasure to introduce childhood interstitial and diffuse lung diseases, which are the focus of this installment of “Lung Disease Week at the ATS.” This program allows us to highlight a diverse group of rare diseases, including inherited surfactant protein defects, neuroendocrine hyperplasia of infancy, pulmonary interstitial glycogenosis, bronchiolitis obliterans, cryptogenic organizing pneumonia, alveolar capillary dysplasia and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
Our knowledge about childhood interstitial and diffuse lung diseases (chILD) has advanced rapidly, spurred by a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded programs and the Rare Lung Disease Research consortia that fostered successful collaborations among patients, clinicians and investigators. The chiLD Research Network and the Children’s Interstitial and Diffuse Lung Disease Foundation were established in 2004 to advance research in rare lung diseases, including interstitial lung diseases of childhood. Previously, our knowledge of these diseases was based on case reports and small series. By partnering with Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease Foundation, network sites have made remarkable progress in defining and classifying these disorders, and we now better understand their genetics, pathophysiology and clinical presentations. These advances provide hope to families that their children will have newer, more effective treatments. Potentially, cures will someday be found.
The American Thoracic Society and the Children’s Interstitial and Diffuse Lung Disease Foundation have long advocated for greater federal and local support for research, education, and development of new resources to aid children and their families. More funding is needed. To promote these efforts, the two organizations have created a new award to support research in childhood interstitial and diffuse lung diseases.
We welcome “Interstitial Lung Diseases Week at the ATS” and our partnership in this awareness campaign and applaud its focus on childhood interstitial and diffuse lung diseases. We look forward to sharing information that will help guide families, advance research, and support clinicians and allied health professionals in their efforts to cure these conditions.
Thomas Ferkol, MD
ATS ILD PARtner — chILD Foundation
The chILD Foundation was established in 2004 to provide support, education and hope to families affected with a pediatric interstitial lung disease and to advocate and raise funds for scientific research.
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