Cedric Rutland, MD: Mechanisms Behind Immunology, Cellular Communication

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Dr. Rutland emphasizes the importance of understanding cellular communication and its potential to manipulate disease processes for patient benefit, including the observed link between ILD, inflammation, scarring, and pulmonary hypertension.

Cedric "Jamie" Rutland, MD, of West Coast Lung, Rutland Medical Group, was especially busy at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2023 International Conference in Washington, DC, with multiple presentations.

The new vaccine for the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), type 2 inflammation in asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and the immunological aspects of interstitial lung disease (ILD) were among his research topics.

"I like to think about the immunology and cellular communication that takes place," he said in an interview with HCPLive. "If I can understand how that works, then I think that a certain disease process can be manipulated to benefit patients."

In an investigation, he and his team observed an increased risk of mortality in patients with ILD that developed pulmonary hypertension.

"Now, I'm a guy that happens to think when you have interstitial lung disease and you have inflammation, or if you have scarring of those balloons, pulmonary hypertension is going to happen because those blood vessels are scarred down too," Rutland explained. "So, all it does is increase that pressure."

"Again, understanding that process, the process of interstitial lung disease, development of inflammation, development of scarring, understanding the molecules that are involved in that, and being able to manipulate that, leads to less scarring, less inflammation, improved pulmonary hypertension symptoms, which is kind of what happened in an inhaled molecule called treprostinil."