Videos on Cystic Fibrosis

Duke Experts Discuss Cystic Fibrosis and Options for Treatment

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In this series of videos, Duke experts talk about cystic fibrosis -- what it is, common symptoms, and options for treatment.

What is Cystic Fibrosis?

People born with cystic fibrosis (CF) face a range of serious health challenges including difficulty breathing, lung damage, poor growth, and a shorter lifespan. Currently there is no cure, but promising new medications called CFTR modulators are helping people with CF achieve improved lung function, growth, and overall health. Here Shatha Yousef, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist at Duke Health, discusses CF symptoms, long-term effects, and new treatments that are changing the lives of people with the disease.

Leading an Active Life with Cystic Fibrosis

Born with CF, Zoey Dula spent her early years sick and in and out of hospitals. Decades ago, children like Zoey might not live to see their first birthday. Today, thanks to a new medication called Trikafta, a CF modulars, Zoey is prepared to lead an active and full life. Unlike other treatments, these new drugs target the root cause of CF, not just the symptoms. People with CF are now routinely living into adulthood. “She can be anything she wants to be,” said Mai ElMallah, MD, Zoey’s pediatric pulmonologist at Duke Health.

What are CFTR Modulators?

People with cystic fibrosis (CF) can live longer, better-quality lives thanks to new treatments called CFTR modulators. These medications target gene mutations present in CF and can significantly minimize symptoms and reduce complications. When started early, they can even eliminate some of the worst effects of CF. Here, Mai ElMallah, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist at Duke Health, discusses CFTR modulators, how they work, and who can benefit.

Second Double Lung Transplant with Cystic Fibrosis

Since Sara Kominsky was a child, she faced difficulties common to people with CF but described herself as “reasonably healthy” until she was in her early 40s. “At that point,” said Kominsky, “my lungs declined, and I couldn't do what I wanted to do.” Her doctors told her that she needed lung transplant surgery, and quickly. Today, after not one -- but two -- double lung transplant surgeries at Duke Health, she is competing in endurance events, writing fiction, making travel plans, and enjoying every minute of her new life.