Cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder defined by variants in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, affects more than 30 000 individuals in the US and approximately 89 000 worldwide. Absent or decreased function of the CFTR protein is associated with multiorgan dysfunction and shortened life expectancy.
CFTR is an anion channel in the apical membrane of epithelial cells. Loss of function leads to obstructed exocrine glands. Of people with cystic fibrosis in the US, approximately 85.5% have the gene variant F508del. Manifestations of cystic fibrosis in patients with the F508del gene variant begin in infancy with steatorrhea, poor weight gain, and respiratory symptoms (coughing, wheezing). As people with cystic fibrosis age, chronic respiratory bacterial infections cause loss of lung function and bronchiectasis. With the availability of universal newborn screening in multiple countries including the US, many people with cystic fibrosis are asymptomatic at diagnosis. With multidisciplinary care teams that included dietitians, respiratory therapists, and social workers, treatment of cystic fibrosis can slow disease progression. Median survival has improved from 36.3 years (95% CI, 35.1-37.9) in 2006 to 53.1 years (95% CI, 51.6-54.7) in 2021. Pulmonary therapies for patients with cystic fibrosis consist of mucolytics (eg, dornase alfa), anti-inflammatories (eg, azithromycin), and antibiotics (such as tobramycin delivered by a nebulizer). Four small molecular therapies, termed CFTR modulators, that facilitate CFTR production and/or function have received regulatory approval. Examples are ivacaftor and elexacaftor-tezacaftor-ivacaftor. For example, in patients with 1 F508del variant, the combination of ivacaftor, tezacaftor, and elexacaftor improved lung function from −0.2% in the placebo group to 13.6% (difference, 13.8%; 95% CI, 12.1%-15.4%) and decreased the annualized estimated rate of pulmonary exacerbations from 0.98 to 0.37 (rate ratio, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.25-0.55). Improved respiratory function and symptoms have lasted up to 144 weeks in postapproval observational studies. An additional 177 variants are eligible for treatment with the elexacaftor-tezacaftor-ivacaftor combination.
Cystic fibrosis affects approximately 89 000 people worldwide and is associated with a spectrum of disease related to exocrine dysfunction, including chronic respiratory bacterial infections and reduced life expectancy. First-line pulmonary therapies consist of mucolytics, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics, and approximately 90% of people with cystic fibrosis who are 2 years or older may benefit from a combination of ivacaftor, tezacaftor, and elexacaftor.
Sign in to take quiz and track your certificates
JN Learning™ is the home for CME and MOC from the JAMA Network. Search by specialty or US state and earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from articles, audio, Clinical Challenges and more. Learn more about CME/MOC
CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Accepted for Publication: May 2, 2023.
Corresponding Author: Bonnie W. Ramsey, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle Children’s Hospital, M/S OC7.720, PO Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98145 (email@example.com).
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Ong reported receiving grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the National Institutes of Health, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; nonfinancial support from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; and honorarium from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital for participation in the Cystic Fibrosis Learning Network Leadership outside the submitted work. Dr Ramsey reported receiving grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and having served on the advisory boards of Vertex Pharmaceuticals Scientific, Sionna Therapeutics, and Cystetic Medicines outside the submitted work.
Additional Contributions: We thank Elisabeth Nylander, MSc, medical librarian, for reference management and Melissa Harkleroad for aid in manuscript preparation and formatting, both at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Neither received financial compensation.
Credit Designation Statement: The American Medical Association designates this Journal-based CME activity activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to:
It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting MOC credit.
You currently have no searches saved.
You currently have no courses saved.