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Cystic Fibrosis Treatment
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Since CF is a genetic disease, the only way to prevent or cure it would be with gene therapy at an early age. Ideally, gene therapy could repair or replace the defective gene. Another option for treatment would be to give a person with CF the active form of the protein product that is scarce or missing.
At present, neither gene therapy nor any other kind of treatment exists for the basic causes of cystic fibrosis, although several drug-based approaches are being investigated. In the meantime, the best that doctors can do is to ease the symptoms of cystic fibrosis or slow the progress of the disease so the patient's quality of life is improved. This is achieved by antibiotic therapy combined with treatments to clear the thick mucus from the lungs. The therapy is tailored to the needs of each patient. For patients whose disease is very advanced, lung transplantation may be an option.
CF was once always fatal in childhood. Better treatment methods developed over the past 20 years have increased the average lifespan of CF patients to nearly 30 years. These treatment approaches are detailed more fully below:
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