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BTOG 2024 | Referring central airway obstruction patients: specialist intervention benefits

Ricky Thakrar, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,London, UK, emphasizes the importance of referring patients with central airway obstruction to specialist centers equipped for therapeutic bronchoscopy. These centers can offer interventions such as stent placement or ablative therapy, which can significantly improve patients’ breathlessness and symptoms, thereby enhancing their quality of life. Dr Thakrar highlights a study indicating that a considerable portion of patients with poor performance status (3 or 4) were able to undergo systemic therapy after bronchoscopic intervention, which otherwise would have been impossible due to their condition. The improvement in quality of life serves as a surrogate marker for survival, with advancements noted in quality-adjusted survival metrics. Patients undergoing therapeutic bronchoscopy experience a notable improvement in health-related quality of life, surpassing the benefits observed in patients with malignant pleural effusions receiving indwelling pleural catheters. This interview took place at the BTOG 2024 congress in Belfast, UK.

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