Cystic Fibrosis Treatment: New Study Discovered Potential Drug To Stop The Disease's Progression

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Apr 11, 2017 03:18 PM EDT

A team of researchers discovered a new therapy for the reduction of lung inflammation in cystic fibrosis. (Photo : Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation)

Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary and currently incurable illness that affects people in the United States and worldwide. But a team of researchers found a new therapy that could prevent the progression of the disease.

Cystic fibrosis is a disorder of the secretory glands and almost 30,000 individuals in the United States and 70,000 people worldwide were being affected. Normally, the glands release mucus and sweat, but in cystic fibrosis, these discharges accumulate within the lungs.

As a result, the air passages will be obstructed causing bacterial infection. The condition now results to serious and recurrent lung infections. Cystic fibrosis also affects other vital organs such as the liver and pancreas. Apart from that, the disease can affect the intestines, sinuses, and the body's reproductive organs.

According to Medical News Today, cystic fibrosis has no cure as of the moment. Fortunately, an international team of researchers from the George Washington (GW) University in Washington, D.C developed a new drug that might hinder the progression of the disease. The group works for the study in cooperation with the University of Perugia and the University of Rome (both in Italy).

In the study, the researchers involved a drug called thymosin alpha 1 (Tα1), which its curative effects in cystic fibrosis were evaluated. Tα1 is a duplicate variant of a natural polypeptide initially collected from the thymus tissue that plays a role in immunity. 

Cystic fibrosis takes place as a result of a mutation in the genetic code of a protein called cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The mutation dubbed as "p.Phe508del" cause the premature weakening of CFTR protein resulting to lung inflammation.

According to the study published in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers emphasized that cystic fibrosis requires curative techniques that involve several drugs. However, such kind of medicine for the disease was not yet discovered up until now.

Nevertheless, the researchers claimed that Tα1 can repair the impaired experimental mice's tissue suffering from cystic fibrosis. The drug can as well correct the abnormalities of human cells with p.Phe508del mutation.

Furthermore, the study discovered that Tα1 has twofold beneficial actions. The drug can altogether minimize the inflammation in cystic fibrosis. It can also enhance the action, maturation, and durability of CFTR.

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