Roughly 30,000 people in the U.S. suffer from cystic fibrosis, and 90% of them have a gene mutation that affects the production of the protein CFTR. Without CFTR proteins, the lungs get clogged with viscous mucus that can trap bacteria and lead to infection and eventually lung failure. However, an October 19th Science News article detailed a breakthrough therapy that could alleviate symptoms.
The treatment consists of two triple-drug approaches that are taken for four weeks. Last week, two studies on the therapy were published in the New England Journal of Medicine that revealed the drugs were safe and the side effects were tolerable. In clinical trials, patients taking the therapy increased their lung function from 60% to 74% of normal.