A drug widely used to treat fungal infections improved key biomarkers in lung tissue cultures as well as in the noses of patients with cystic fibrosis, a clinical study by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the University of Iowa found.
Cystic fibrosis is caused by a missing or defective ion channel in the lining of the lungs, called CFTR. This leaves patients vulnerable to lung infections. Treatments called modulators can help some but not all patients, based on which type of genetic mutation causes the symptoms.
An approved drug normally used to treat fungal infections could also do the job of a protein channel that is missing or defective in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis, operating as a prosthesis on the molecular scale, says new research from the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa.