Potential new treatment for cystic fibrosis uncovered

By: Medicalnewstoday.com
10 April, 2017

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects tens of thousands of people in the United States and worldwide. There is currently no cure for the condition, but new research proposes a novel therapeutic approach that may soon stop the disease from progressing.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder of the secretory glands that affects around 70,000 people worldwide.

Our secretory glands are responsible for producing mucus and sweat, but in CF, these secretions build up in the lungs, blocking the airways and providing a fertile ground for bacteria. As a result, the condition causes severe and recurring lung infections.

Apart from the lungs, CF also affects other vital organs such as the liver and the pancreas. Additionally, it can affect the intestines, the sinuses, and the body's reproductive organs.

At the moment, CF is incurable. However, an international team of researchers from the George Washington (GW) University in Washington, D.C. The United States, in collaboration with the University of Perugia and the University of Rome (both in Italy), may have discovered a new drug that can treat and halt the progression of CF.

The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, examines the therapeutic effects of thymosin alpha 1 (Tα1) on CF.

Tα1 is a synthetic version of a natural polypeptide that was first isolated from the thymus tissue and that has a role in immunity.