Public Release: 

Cystic Fibrosis Conference Will Showcase Latest From Clinical Care To Basic Science

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Twelfth Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference, October 15-18, 1998 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, promises to break attendance records as participants from around the world meet to share discoveries about cystic fibrosis (CF). Co-sponsored this year by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Canadian CF Foundation, more than 2,800 participants will be on hand as the complete spectrum of CF research and care will be presented at the Palais des Congres de Montreal.

Progress will be reported from a host of different fields. Many researchers seek to understand CF through basic cellular and molecular biology. Several sessions will cover what is known about the CF gene's protein, CFTR, for example. Strategies are already in clinical trials to correct the defective protein with many more planned.

Advances in CF gene therapy will also be presented. The focus now centers on examining the barriers to successful gene therapy, such as the body's own immune system. Other topics include the complex microbiology of CF, which involves pathogens that change shape and airway fluid with unique properties. New concepts in clinical care, as well as the social and psychological aspects of the disease, will also be discussed. Four days worth of symposia, workshops and hundreds of posters will be presented during the conference.

Research highlights will be presented in the form of three plenary sessions:
Oct. 16, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., The Best of 1998, will feature:

  • How do we increase gene transfer efficiency?
  • Potential of antimicrobial peptides for therapeutic use in CF
  • Designing strategies to correct the Delta-F508 CFTR protein folding defect
  • Is there a role for newborn screening and early diagnosis in CF care?
  • Long-term efficacy and safety of inhaled tobramycin (TOBI) in patients with CF

Oct. 17, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m., CFTR Structure & Function: Pathophysiologic Insights & Novel Targets for Pharmacotherapies. CF researchers will present the latest discoveries about the defective CFTR protein (the product of the CF gene) that are already leading to new treatments.

Oct. 18, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., The CF Cure: How Close Are We? Presenters will describe alternate treatment approaches both in the lab and in the clinic. Summaries of the plenary sessions will be offered as a cybersession over the CF Foundation's Web site http://www.cff.org beginning the afternoon of October 16. Press inquiries, call Carolyn Habbersett, Director of Public Information (301) 951-4422.

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