Well-founded and ongoing cystic fibrosis research means that there are always new and exciting treatments on the horizon. The plethora of current treatment reports is far too vast and detailed to review in a short article. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as well as many other cystic fibrosis associations and organizations, provide up-to-date overviews of ongoing treatment trials and research findings [source: CFF]. With ongoing and innovative cystic fibrosis research, it is no surprise that the quality and longevity of life for cystic fibrosis patients has drastically improved over the past few decades.
As of 2011, several new cystic fibrosis treatments are being tested in human clinical trials. Several therapies that involve changing the CFTR defective protein, which results in thick and sticky mucous commonly seen in people with cystic fibrosis, are currently being tested on human patients. This innovative form of treatment is called CFTR modulation. There are also several recent reports on the effectiveness of hydrating mucous in the body, including hypertonic saline and bronchitol treatments. There are also several different anti-inflammatory drugs that are currently in phase 2 of research trials. Anti-inflammatory drugs are essential for reducing lung inflammation caused by cystic fibrosis. A number of anti-infective drugs, such as TOBI and Azithromycin, are now available to patients, while even more anti-infective drugs continue to show effectiveness in early stage clinical trials [source: CFF].
There are also current reports on stem cell research and gene therapy. Research is currently being conducted at the University of Toronto to determine if stem cells from bone marrow can replace defective CFTR cells in a patient's airways. On a similar note, there is preliminary evidence that a healthy gene can be injected into damaged lungs to decrease inflammation and improve lung capacity in cystic fibrosis patients [source: CFC].