Background: Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) undergoing pulmonary resection for lung cancer carry risks of acute exacerbations of IPF (AE) postoperatively. Currently, agents which may attenuate AE are actively sought. Urinary trypsin inhibitor, ulinastatin, is a synthetic glycoprotein which may potentially inhibit various inflammatory factors associated with the development and progression of IPF. The present study was done to evaluate the effects of administration of high dose ulinastatin in lung cancer patients with IPF immediately following lung resection. Methods: Patients with IPFs radiologically diagnosed on high resolution CT, and histologically diagnosed resectable lung cancers, were eligible for the study. The effects of escalating doses of ulinastatin 3×10 5, 6×10 5, and 9×10 5 units/body/day, administered postoperatively for 3 days were evaluated. The endpoints were safety and feasibility. Results: Nine patients were evaluated, in cohorts of 3 patients per dosage. Postoperative follow up ranged from 3 to 12 months (median 9 months). The postoperative courses were uneventful in all patients. No subjective adverse events such as abdominal symptoms or skin rashes, or objective adverse events as per serum laboratory tests, such as liver or kidney dysfunctions potentially attributable to ulinastatin administration were observed. AE was seen in one patient at 3 months after surgery, but since this occurred shortly after administration of chemotherapy, it was considered to be attributable to the chemotherapy rather than surgery. Discussion: Ulinastatin administration after lung resection in lung cancer patients with IPF was considered to be safe and feasible. Further study is planned at the highest dose of this study to evaluate efficacy. Trial Registration: UMIN.ac.jp/ctr/UMIN000002410.
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