In today’s day and age a plethora of drugs are prescribed for diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and heart problems. However, most of these medications also have side-effects and potential risks, especially to the patients’ respiratory systems. As these risks can be life-changing, it is important that doctors are fully aware of the potential causes the medications they are prescribing. Currently the subject is not very well researched and the impact that medications could have on the lungs seems to be more extensive than previously thought.  (An initial study about the medications and their potential side-effects can be found here.)
As part of the Innovative Medicine Initiative, a team of researchers, including co-leader Manchester University spin –off Bioxydyn, are working together to develop new imaging techniques to help manage drug-induced interstitial lung disease (DIILD). Although the effects of this medication-based disease can have severe impact on patients’ quality of life, it may only become apparent after years of drug use. By developing better imaging techniques, the consortium hopes to be able to detect lung problems and treat them accordingly before they become too serious. And, in addition to helping doctors better understand the effects of the medicine on the market the team hopes to create tools that will allow analysis of the side effects of future drugs.