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pulmonary fibrosis

and infection

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Is Sputum the Answer to IPF or are we just MUC-king around?

Lung disease will contribute to the death of 1 in 5 people. Many people suffer from chronic lung disease that impacts on their ability to function on a daily basis. Many chronic lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and bronchiectasis are characterised by the presence of excessive numbers of white blood cells or leukocytes that are recruited to the lung from the blood stream.

In particular, the white blood cells, called neutrophils, are recruited at the earliest signs of lung damage.  In small numbers, these neutrophils are essential to fight infection, but in larger numbers, or in more activated forms, they may cause damage to the lung, especially if they deploy their anti-microbial activity before they cross into the airspace.

Before reaching the airspace in which inhaled pathogens are encountered, the neutrophils must pass across the airway epithelium and then they come into contact with the layer of airway mucus that protects the airway from infection.  We propose that the epithelial-mucus barrier acts as a checkpoint to prime neutrophil function in health, so that neutrophils are only fully activated once they have passed across the epithelium, thereby limiting collateral damage.

However, patients with IPF have higher numbers of neutrophils in their broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and this also correlates with severity of disease. Furthermore, a genetic mutation that increases the amount of Muc5B, one of the airway mucins, has been identified as a risk factor for developing IPF (either sporadic or familial). Muc5B has been implicated in inducing neutrophils to expel fibres of DNA called neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and in our preliminary data, is a strong chemoattractant for neutrophils.

Dr Jagdeep Sahota has applied to the Medical Research Council to carry out a project will allow us to identify factors that alter the behaviour of neutrophils as they migrate through the lungs to eradicate infection and the role of MUC5B and TGF beta (a profibrotic cytokine implicated in the development of IPF).  Dr Sahota has been able to develop preliminary data using funding from Breathing Matters.  Her ultimate aim is to develop novel targeted therapies to reduce neutrophil mediated lung damage whilst maintaining effectiveness against infection. These therapies may be applicable to other chronic lung diseases.

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Challenge Yourself in 2018

Sometimes, a cycle at a national park, a coffee morning at your local cafe or a 10K run is just not enough of a challenge. Sometimes, you need to go further afield!

Breathing Matters has teamed up with Global Adventure Challenges who offer some amazing charity challenges. There are so many international challenges to choose from at www.globaladventurechallenges.com, but here’s just a few fabulous examples:

 

Nepal, Everest Base Camp Trek: 8-25.3.18, 15.11-2.12.18, 7-24.3.19, 14.11-1.12.19

Minimum sponsorship:

£399 + £3,750 + airport TAX (2018)

£449 + £3,750 + airport TAX (2019)

Self-funding:

£399 + £1,875 + airport TAX (2018)

£449+ £1,875 + airport TAX (2019)

 

Tanzania, Kilimanjaro, Machame Trail Trek: 11-12.10.18, 20-30.6.19, 19-29.9.19

Minimum sponsorship:

£449 + £4,100 + airport TAX (2018)

£475 + £4,150 + airport TAX (2019)

Self-funding:

£449 + £2,050 + airport TAX (2018)

£475 + £2,075 + airport TAX (2019)

 

China, Great Wall Trek: 12-20.5.18, 8-16.9.18, 19-27.10.18, many more in 2019

Minimum sponsorship:

£299 + £2,700 + airport TAX (2018)

£299 + £2,700 + airport TAX (2019)

Self-funding:

£299 + £1,350 + airport TAX (2018)

£299 + £1,350 + airport TAX (2019)

 

USA, Rock the Canyons: 12-19.5.18, 15-22.9.18, 11-18.5.19, 14-21.9.19

Minimum sponsorship:

£449 + £3,650 + airport TAX (2018)

£449 + £3,750 + airport TAX (2019)

Self-funding:

£449 + £1,825 + airport TAX (2018)

£449 + £1,875 + airport TAX (2019)

 

Morocco, Sahara Desert Trek: 15-20.2.18, 1-6.11.18, 14-19.3.19, 31.10-5.11.19

Minimum sponsorship:

£175 + £1,820 + airport TAX (2018)

£175 + £1,800 + airport TAX (2019)

Self-funding:

£175 + £910 + airport TAX (2018)

£175 + £900 + airport TAX (2019)

 

USA Yosemite to San Fran Cycle:  22-30.9.18, 21-29.9.19

Minimum sponsorship:

£449 + £4,550 + airport TAX (2018)

£475 + £4,600 + airport TAX (2019)

Self-funding:

£449 + £2,275 + airport TAX (2018)

£475 + £2,300 + airport TAX (2019)

 

India Cycle: 16-25.11.18, 15-24.11.19

Minimum sponsorship:

£299 + £3,000 + airport TAX (2018)

£349 + £3,000 + airport TAX (2019)

Self-funding:

£299 + £1,500 + airport TAX (2018)

£349 + £1,500 + airport TAX (2019)

 

Madagascar Cycle: 28.9-7.10.18, 27.9-6.10.19

Minimum sponsorship:

£399 + £3,600 + airport TAX (2018)

£399 + £3,800 + airport TAX (2019)

Self-funding:

£399 + £1,800 + airport TAX (2018)

£399 + £1,900 + airport TAX (2019)

 

London to Paris Bike Ride: 6-10.6.18, 15-19.8.18, 12-16.9.18

Minimum sponsorship:          £125 + £1,600 + airport TAX (2018)

Self-funding:                           £125 + £800 + airport TAX (2018)

 

Tour de France London to Paris Bike Ride: 25-29.7.18

Minimum sponsorship:          £149 + £1,630 + airport TAX (2018)

Self-funding:                           £149 + £815 + airport TAX (2018)

 

 

Lapland: Husky Trail Dog Sled:  22-29.3.19, 30.3-6.4.19, 7-14.4.19

Minimum sponsorship: £449 + £4,000 + airport TAX

Self-funding:                  £449 + £2,000 + airport TAX

 

Payment Plan

There are two ways of funding your challenge; minimum sponsorship or self-funding.

For payment option A – minimum sponsorship – You pay the non-refundable deposit (the first sum above) to Global Adventure Challenges.  This is used to organise your trip including securing airline seats and relevant permits. You then commit to raising the minimum sponsorship (the second sum above) for Breathing Matters.  You can set up a Justgiving Page from our home page (https://www.justgiving.com/breathingmatters) and 80% of the minimum sponsorship MUST be raised no later than ELEVEN WEEKS BEFORE DEPARTURE as this is when Breathing Matters will pay your challenge costs direct to Global Adventure Challenges.  Failure to raise this money may mean non-participation and cancellation of your challenge so it is important to raise your funds early.  The remaining 20% should be received no more than two weeks after your challenge finishes (we may ask for proof of offline pledges). We would be grateful if you could try and raise as much as you can over the minimum sponsorship target as every penny of this is what Breathing Matters will receive.  The more you raise, the more research work we can do and the more your challenge will have been worthwhile.

For payment option B – self-funding – You pay the non-refundable deposit (the first sum above) to Global Adventure Challenges which is used to organise your trip including securing airline seats and relevant permits. Ten weeks before departure, Global Adventure Challenges will invoice you for the balance (the second sum above) and this should be paid within two weeks; eight weeks prior to your challenge.  Although there is no minimum sponsorship target for this option, we would encourage you to raise as much as possible for Breathing Matters (via https://www.justgiving.com/breathingmatters). The more you raise, the more research work we can do and the more your challenge will have been worthwhile.

If all the above fills you with dread, why don’t you check out many more challenges including those closer to home in the UK, including Hadrian’s Wall Trek, Ben Nevis Trek, Lakes 4 Peaks, Edinburgh Night Ride and Coast to Coast cycle on www.globaladventurechallenges.com

Always Remember: Breathing Matters!

 

 

A Festive Feast of Singing

We had a fabulous evening last night at St Paul’s Actor’s Church, Covent Garden, for our annual Christmas Concert. We were entertained once again by the magical Holst Singers. The concert was sold out and the audience interaction almost brought the house down with popular renditions of ‘Hark! the Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘Once in Royal David’s City’.

Thank you to BBC Radio presenters, Nigel Rees and Charlotte Green who amused us with hilarious Christmas readings.

Thanks also to the fabulous volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the event go smoothly and to Pharma Profile who sponsored the concert.

But a very special thank you goes to Jane Walker who organised the concert and, if you look closely, you can see her singing along with the choir on one of the photos below!

What a wonderful evening to start off the Festive Season.

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Autumn 2017 Newsletter is OUT NOW

 

For our Autumn 2017 Newsletter, please click here

 

 

Answers to The Christmas Card Quiz, Autumn Newsletter 2017

 

Q: When is the last 1st Class UK postal day before Christmas?

A: Thursday, 21st December 2017

 

Q: What year was the first commercial Christmas card sent?

A: 1843

 

Q: In the UK, how many Christmas cards are posted each year?

A: 1.8 billion

 

Q: How many people are on an average Christmas Card list per household?

A: 50

 

Q: Where can you buy our Charity Christmas Cards? 🙂

A: CharityChristmasCards.Com

 

Will you be a doer, a goer or a giver at Christmas?

 

If you are a doer – why not organise your own Christmas event … a cheese and mulled wine evening, a harvest festival, a Christmas swish party (exchanging glittery outfits for a donation) or join a Santa Run.  Have a look at our events page for inspiration: http://bit.ly/2zFd6fM

 

If you are a goer – why not attend our Christmas Concert on Friday 8th December 2017 at 7.30pm in the beautiful St Pauls Actors’ Church in Covent Garden.  There will be traditional carols along with interactive Christmas tunes. Tickets are £25. This really is not to be missed and starts off the festive season so nicely! For more information, visit: bit.ly/2tIYbO9   

 

If you are a giver – why not support us by buying charity Christmas Cards, you can order directly online with CharityChristmasCards.com  They sell paper cards, online cards and corporate cards.  Up to 50p per card is donated directly to Breathing Matters.

For those of you around the London area, why not come along to our Charity Christmas Stalls on Friday 17th November 2017 or Friday 1st December 2017, 11am-1pm, at UCH Atrium for stocking fillers, jewellery and designer Christmas cards. If you are interested in purchasing our handmade Christmas cards which Jane Walker has designed, contact us directly on breathingmatters@ucl.ac.uk

 

A lot of you simply donate to charity instead of spending too much money on obligatory Christmas pressies.  If you do this, you are also considered ‘a giver’ and are much loved by all.

https://www.justgiving.com/breathingmatters

 

Would you like to find out what type of Christmas charity supporter you are?  Read our article: http://bit.ly/19gNAoH

A very merry Christmas to all our fantastic supporters.  A healthy and happy Christmas to all doers, goers and givers!

 

Show and Tell Meetings

We have been busy this autumn meeting our fabulous supporters and patients and presenting our research work.

We had two separate patient/supporter meetings; one for bronchiectasis, and one for pulmonary fibrosis to celebrate #Breathtember (Pulmonary Fibrosis Awareness Month).

At the Pulmonary Fibrosis/Interstitial Lung Disease event, Dr Porter along with our fabulous clinical fellows and scientists presented their integral and very interesting research work into PF.

Presentations included:

  • Dr Akif Khawaja:  The role of neutrophils in Interstitial Lung Disease: a novel target for treatment.
  • Dr Deborah Chong: The role of platelets in Interstitial Lung Disease.
  • Dr Theresia Mikolasch: The first UK non-invasive lung biopsy service.
  • Dr Theresia Mikolasch: Using Cryobiopsy to assess Inhaled drug delivery to the distal lung.
  • Dr Manuela Plate:  Can we use circulating DNA to tell us about genetic changes in the lung?
  • Dr Wes Wellard:  Finding new genetic mutations in patients with IPF.
  • Dr Jagdeep Sahota:  The role of mucins in IPF.

After lunch, the focus group discussed future areas of research into interstitial lung disease.

The scientists loved meeting you and one scientist said that meeting you helped ‘motivate us to do more and do it better and quicker’.

 

At the Bronchiectasis Evening, Professor Brown explained what we know about bronchiectasis and what we still need to find out. And, importantly, how Breathing Matters can help. This was followed by a lively Q+A session when Professor Brown answered some in-depth questions on the treatment of the disease.

We were also treated to Jane Walker’s personal and touching account of coping with her condition. Jane organises our annual Christmas Concert and we were lucky to have one of the Holst Singers along with a representative from Pharma Profile who has given a donation towards the costs of staging this concert, with us that evening.

It was so lovely to meet so many of you in person and we look forward to seeing many of you at our Christmas Concert at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden on Friday, 8th December 2017.

These meetings show how Breathing Matters have helped research into both lung diseases since our inception in 2011, and it is thanks to all our fundraisers and donors that this has been achieved.

We could not have done this without your support – thank you!

 

You Got out of Breath for #Breathtember!

Thank you to all of our supporters who Got Out Of Breath for #Breathtember last month to help raise awareness of pulmonary fibrosis during September’s world PF awareness month.

From hiking, cycling, climbing to giving up fizzy drinks.  You all did your best to spread the word about pulmonary fibrosis.

Our #Breathtember twitter champion this year was ….. Steve Wright who walked a fantastic 50 miles during the month.

And why did we do this … here’s why:

  • Men are nearly twice as likely as women to suffer from IPF.
  • There are 5000 new cases of IPF every year in the UK.
  • 50% of IPF sufferers die within 3 years of diagnosis.
  • More than 30,000 people will be diagnosed with IPF in the 27 EU countries each year. 
  • IPF is more common than all leukaemias conbined. 
  • Most patients are diagnosed 1-12 years after their first symptoms. 
  • 5 million people worldwide have IPF. 

We need more funding to change these statistics.

Thank you for your help during #Breathtember … let’s make a difference together!

Christmas Concert Tickets Now Available

A CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION

WITH THE HOLST SINGERS

Friday 8th December 2017 – 7.30pm

St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden

Our annual Christmas Concert with the Holst Singers will take place on Friday 8th December at 7.30pm. The Holst Singers is one of Britain’s foremost choirs, described by the BBC as a “leading chorus on the international stage”.  The concert takes place in the lovely setting of the 17th century St Paul’s Church on the Covent Garden piazza that was designed by Inigo Jones, and will feature well-known traditional carols, as well as more contemporary Christmas music.

The concert will raise money for Breathing Matters, and in particular research into Bronchiectasis led by Professor Brown at University College London.  Our guest readers this year are well known BBC Radio Presenters Nigel Rees and Charlotte Green. Nigel Rees is a writer and broadcaster who has been presenting Radio 4’s “Quote….Unquote” for 40 years.  Charlotte Green has been a familiar voice on the radio for many years, having been the news reader for the Radio 4 “Today” programme and presented the comedy programme “The News Quiz”, and currently being the “reader” for “Quote….unquote”.  In 2013, she joined Classic FM as well as BBC Radio 5 Live, where she announces the football results.

Book your tickets now for what promises to be an evening of wonderful festive entertainment.

Tickets (£25) are now on sale here.  For further information and paper tickets, please contact Jane Walker either by email missjanewalker@hotmail.com or by phone 01732 366346.

 

”Donation received from Profile Pharma, towards the costs of staging this concert”

 

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Cyclotopia – Another Success!

What a sunny fun day out Cyclotopia was this year!

Over 100 riders, young and old, enjoyed our bikefest of activities including the smooooth traffic-free road circuit, the challenging mountain trail, the even more challenging Velodrome, along with the kids’ pump track in the centre of the Velodrome itself – while plenty others watched, cheered and had ice creams.  There were prizes too: for the fastest cyclist around the Velodrome, on the watt bikes and around the road circuit.  The prizes were given out by Mark Colbourne MBE, paralympic champion and inspirational speaker along with our sponsors Cycle Republic.

The event brought in over £5000 for Breathing Matters and Haematology Cancer Care, both UCLH Charities.

We are once again very grateful to our fabulous volunteers, without whose help this event could not have taken place.  We are indebted to you all.

Thank you also to Mark Colbourne MBE, Cycle Republic and to the amazingly helpful and professional staff at the Lee Valley VeloPark.

Next year’s event will be on Sunday 20th May 2018 – save the date in your diary now!

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