Department of Respiratory Medicine


Patient Care

We strive to provide appropriate diagnoses and treatments to our patients based on the latest research and findings. We have 9 respiratory specialists certified by The Japanese Respiratory Society, 7 specialists in bronchoscopy, 2 specialists in allergy, 2 specialists in infections, 2 specialists in tuberculosis/ non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis, and 1 specialist in cancer medication. Each of them provides specialized treatments. Besides, we have special clinics for lung cancer, interstitial pneumonia, non-tuberculous mycobacteriosis, bronchial asthma, and sleep apnea syndrome. We would like to mention the treatments for lung cancer and interstitial pneumonia, with which we have a lot of patients, as below.

Distribution of Diagnoses in Inpatients
Distribution of Diagnoses in Inpatients

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is placed first in the ranking of the annual death toll from cancer for Japanese and not less than 70 thousand people died of it a year. It is a disease with poor prognosis. We provide chemotherapy or palliative therapy to the patients in advanced state or ineligible for surgical treatment. More than 200 patients a year are treated for lung cancer in our department. Therapeutic strategy is decided comprehensively after the individual review on the cancer board jointly hosted by internal medicine, surgery, and radiology department. When chemotherapy for lung cancer starts, first the patients are admitted to our hospital for a short time (1 to 2 weeks) to be observed carefully if any side effects develop. After that, the patients continue to have chemotherapy in our outpatient clinic. Some patients with lung cancer have genetic abnormality such as EGFR, ALK, ROS-1, BRAF, etc. We conduct the genetic testing on making diagnoses and administer molecular targeted drugs appropriate to each patient based on the test result. We also proactively provide immunotherapy or combined treatments with immunotherapy and chemotherapy. In addition, we participate in many clinical trials to develop novel treatments and carry out independent research. We will continue our efforts to work on clinical and basic research to report new evidences.

Interstitial Pneumonia

Interstitial pneumonia is categorized into interstitial lung disease whose main lesions are located in alveolar/bronchiolar region and is a group of disorders characterized by acute/subacute or chronic alveolar interstitial fibrosis. It varies from idiopathic one (the cause is unknown) to secondary one (induced by medication, collagen disease, etc.) and has been attracted great attention nationwide in recent years. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most frequent disease in chronic fibroid interstitial pneumonia, and a cohort study in Hokkaido reported that the annual incidence rate is 2.23 out of 100,000 people. IPF is an intractable disease with the mean survival of 3 to 5 years and one of the designated intractable diseases by the authority. Acute exacerbation, pulmonary hypertension and lung cancer are severe complications of it and treating those complications is our pressing challenge. We established “Interstitial Pneumonia Center” in April 2017, and it was the first medical facility of its kind in university hospitals in this country. We hold multidisciplinary discussion (MDD) together with pulmonologists, radiologists and pathologists to improve the accuracy of diagnosis of interstitial pneumonia. We participate in multinational clinical trials and carry out basic research as well. We would like to expand our activities both in the country and overseas.