Novel Biomarkers could Offer Effective Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Novel Biomarkers could Offer Effective Treatment for Cystic Fibrosis Patients

The new study revealed underlying mechanisms of CF, which could improve prognosis leading to development of better therapies for Cystic Fibrosis.

Researchers have identified two new biological markers of Cystic Fibrosis (CF). It is a genetic disease affecting children and young adults resulting into lifelong health complications including digestive problems and lung infections. The findings of the study was published in the journalĀ of ACS Central Science in August 2017. “We set out to discover whether there were chemical indicators detected in sweat that could complement the gold standard for CF diagnosis: the sweat chloride test,” said Philip Britz-McKibbin, lead author of the study and a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at McMaster University.

The test measures the concentrations of salt in newborn disease-screening programs. Detection of elevated sweat chloride confirms that an infant is suffering from CF. However, there are some obstacles that complicate clinical decision-making due to sweat chloride can result in ambiguous diagnoses in some borderline cases and does not reveal mode of disease progression for patients.

Scientists collected and analyzed sweat samples from infants in CF clinics at the McMaster Children’s Hospital and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. They observed several unknown chemicals beyond chloride that were consistently associated with babies who had CF, including two different drug and environmental compounds the infants secreted in sweat at much lower concentration levels. According to the researchers, testing for such biomarkers could be done in cases in which the chloride sweat test result is unclear.

According to Cystic Fibrosis Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, over the last few years, advancements in technology have resulted in a shift in research and development towards treatments that target the fundamental cause of the disease by targeting the CFTR function. The biomarkers also point to other underlying mechanisms that contribute to the progression of CF and could lead to better therapeutic interventions earlier in life. Further benefits are expected with the advent of newborn screening programs that have resulted in early detection.

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