St. Lawrence Health

COPD Clinical Trial Beginning Through SLH

November is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Month

Nov. 14, 2023 4   min read

St. Lawrence Health Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator Jennie Flanagan, RN, discusses a clinical trial drug with a COPD patient and clinical trial participant.

POTSDAM, NY – There are many amazing reasons and moments in our lives that take our breath away; don’t let COPD be one of them.

November is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Month, and it may not come as a surprise to area residents to learn that St. Lawrence County has an extremely high number of people with the disease.

St. Lawrence Health (SLH) Clinical and Rural Health Research Manager Kylie Sands, CCRP, pointed out that according to the New York State Department of Health’s website, during its last reporting period the County had nearly double the number of COPD hospitalizations among adults per 10,000 people than NY State as a whole (72.9 vs 41.3), and more than three times the national statistic.

The Clinical Research department is currently seeking individuals who would be interested in taking part in a newly launched clinical trial named TRITON.

“We are looking for individuals who have experienced one or more moderate to severe COPD exacerbations within the past 12 months. This can be in the form of a hospitalization, urgent care visit, or office visit,” Ms. Sands said.

“For our COPD trial, all of the visits are in-person; however, many are very quick. The patient’s trip to the office will be to pick up new study drug kits and answer a few questions the study team will have for them,” she added.

COPD is an extremely common, irreversible lung disease that affects 16 million Americans every year. For some, symptoms can be mild and for others they may be very severe and hinder daily activities. There is no cure for COPD; however, there are many treatments currently on the market to assist patients in breathing better, and others are in the stages of development. 

“By providing clinical trials and putting out educational information, our goal is help prevent development or progression of the disease, and assist in improving the quality of life for those living with the COPD,” Ms. Sands stated.

COPD can affect adults of any age, yet primarily affects those aged 65 and over who have prior risk factors such as being a current or former smoker, were exposed to cigarette smoke as children, or have a history of asthma.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in the past 20 years more women than men have died from COPD, as they appear to be more vulnerable to the effects of tobacco and harmful substances such as indoor air pollution. Women also seem to respond differently than men to some treatments.

Learn more about SLH’s Clinical Research department and ongoing clinical trials.