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About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a fatal genetic disease affecting 1 in 2,000 to 3,000 Canadians. This disease affects multiple organs, including the lung, pancreas and intestine. Lung disease, associated with airway obstruction, difficulty in breathing and recurrent episodes of infection, commonly leads to morbidity and mortality in young adults. Improvements in clinical care, mostly aimed at enhancing nutritional status and controlling infection led to an increase in the mean life span for CF patients from 20 years of age (in the mid 1980’s) to 35 to 37 years of age. However, most researchers agree that the next meaningful increase in life expectancy will be achieved through the delivery of therapies which target the basic defect in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) a protein involved in the transport of chloride ions across cell membranes, thereby slow or halting disease progression.

CF chart