Drug helps clear lung mucus in cystic fibrosis patients
Published: 18th Dec 2010 00:03:52
The build up of sticky mucus in the lungs of some cystic fibrosis patients could be prevented using medication, a study has suggested.
The US study of 350 children and young people found denufosol helped keep airways moist and so clear the mucus.
The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine study said those given the drug and not a placebo for six months fared better in lung tests.
The UK's Cystic Fibrosis Trust said the results were "promising".
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) affects over 8,500 people in the UK.
The condition affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system, by clogging them with thick sticky mucus which makes it hard to breathe and digest food.
Patients are believed to be born with normal lung function, but significant damage is seen early on in life.
In this research, which was funded by Inspire Pharmaceuticals which makes the medication, patients either inhaled denufosol or a dummy version three times a day for 24 weeks, followed by a 24-week period when all received denufosol.
When the study began, virtually all the patients had mildly impaired lung function and were taking drugs to regulate their symptoms.
Studies to date have shown promising results.”
Denufosol belongs to a class of drugs known as ion channel regulators which help keep the airways moist and aids mucus clearance.
In CF, ion sodium chloride molecules do not flow normally through cell membranes, resulting in thick, sticky mucus which is difficult to cough up.
In addition to causing breathing problems, the mucus is a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause serious respiratory infections.
Currently, breathing exercises or pressure are used to stop the mucus blocking the airways.
The researchers suggest denufosol could help patients whose lung function is still good, or is only mildly impaired.
They say the difference between it and existing drugs is that it targets a cause, rather than symptoms.
Dr Frank Accurso, the director of University of Colorado's CF centre who led the research, said: "Many patients continue to suffer progressive loss of lung function despite treatment of complications.
"Because denufosol can be used early in life, it offers hope for delaying or preventing the progressive changes that lead to irreversible airflow obstruction in CF patients."
A spokeswoman for the UK's Cystic Fibrosis Trust said: "Denufosol is a new type of drug that could delay or prevent lung disease progression in children, teenagers and young adults with CF.
"We have been following the research closely and studies to date have shown promising results in people with CF who have a good lung function.
"Patients could benefit from this new drug in three to four years."
At 14:52:07 in EnglandA £40,000 project to reintroduce the water vole to Kielder Forest in Northumberland is under way.
At 14:46:14 in EnglandA new restaurant is expected to create up to 60 jobs at a seaside resort in Devon, its owners say.
At 14:34:40 in EnglandResurfacing work costing £1.6m is to be carried out on a section of the A1 in Northumberland.
At 14:11:56 in SportGoalkeeper Tim Howard thinks Everton fans were wrong to boo former manager David Moyes on his return to the club with Manchester United on Sunday.
At 14:09:51 in SportEngland wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow says he is disappointed he will not get to play with Kevin Pietersen again.
At 14:02:30 in EnglandZoo visitors were shepherded inside buildings after a "tiger escape" alarm was set off "maliciously".
At 13:59:02 in WorldThe speaker of Syria's parliament has announced that the country will hold a presidential election on 3 June.
At 13:53:43 in WalesA climber has been rescued after slipping and dislocating his knee in Snowdonia.
At 13:52:54 in HeadlinesHundreds of people were killed because of their ethnic group after South Sudan rebels seized the oil hub of Bentiu last week, the UN has said.
At 13:38:27 in EnglandA man has appeared in court charged with murder after the fatal stabbing of a 24-year-old at a flat in Essex on Wednesday evening.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Drug helps clear lung mucus in cystic fibrosis patients [Online] (Updated 18th Dec 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/116587/Drug-helps-clear-lung-mucus-in-cystic-fibrosis-patients [Accessed 21st Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
The speaker of Syria's parliament has announced that the country will hold a presidential election on 3 June.
An Apprentice Boys feeder parade past St Patrick's Catholic Church on Belfast's Donegal Street has passed off without incident.
Avengers director Joss Whedon has surprised fans by releasing his latest film online at the same time as it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The head of the CBI has said the business organisation does not think the economic case for Scottish independence has been made.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has presented a draft law to create a gambling zone in Crimea, now that the Kremlin has declared the Ukrainian territory part of Russia.