The principal cause of morbidity and mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) is pulmonary disease, so the focus of new treatments in this condition is primarily targeted at the lungs. Since the cloning of the Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator (CFTR) gene in 1989, there has been significant interest in the possibility of gene therapy as a treatment for CF. Early studies using viral vectors carrying a healthy CFTR plasmid highlighted the difficulties with overcoming the body's host defences. This article reviews the work on gene therapy in CF to date and describes the ongoing work of the UK CF Gene Therapy Consortium in investigating the potential of gene therapy as a treatment for patients with CF.
- Cystic Fibrosis