Purpose of review
Cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance receptor (CFTR) modulators are a new class of drugs that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis. To date, there are four approved medications, which are mutation-specific. Although the number of mutations that respond to these agents is expanding, effective CFTR modulators are not available to all cystic fibrosis patients. The purpose of this article is to review the approved CFTR modulators and discuss the mutations that can be treated with these agents, as well as, review the long-term benefits of modulator therapy.
More people with cystic fibrosis can be effectively treated with CFTR modulators. The new, highly effective triple therapy, elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor is indicated for more than 90% of patients with cystic fibrosis and ivacaftor is now approved for children as young as 6 months of age with 1 of 30 CFTR mutations. Long-term use of modulator therapy is associated with fewer pulmonary exacerbations, maintenance of lung function, improved weight gain, and quality of life.
CFTR modulators are the first therapies developed to treat the underlying defect in cystic fibrosis. Their use is associated with preserved lung function and improved health in patients with cystic fibrosis.