Medical Minute 02-17

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

The New England Journal of Medicine calls it a milestone. Patients who've tried it say it's changed their lives. Andrew McIntosh reports on a breakthrough in the treatment of a lung disease that kills patients by their mid-thirties.

Growing up, Angela Riddell loved swimming and softball. But Cystic Fibrosis made it hard for her to play Angela's spent most of her life in and out of the hospital, struggling to survive. Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a genetic abnormality.

It results in thick, sticky mucus building up in the lungs and digestive tract…leading to life-threatening infections and difficulty maintaining weight.

Doctor JP Clancy of Cincinnati Children's Hospital believes a new oral drug could change that. Targets one of the genetic mutations that leads to CF…and reverses it. In a phase three clinical trial….Adult participants taking the drug gained an average 10-point-six percent more lung function after 24 weeks…and put on seven pounds.

Children increased lung capacity by 12-point-5 percent, and gained eight pounds. It has put Angela back in the game. Before the drug, her lung capacity was at 48-percent. Now..It's shot up 23 points to 71-percent! she's also gained 20 pounds. A new drug giving angela a new outlook on life.

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