CF maternal health focus for new strategic research centre

30 May 2024

Reproductive, maternal and offspring health in people with cystic fibrosis will be the focus of a new programme of research to be led by researchers at Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals.

Funded by Cystic Fibrosis Trust through their Strategic Research Centre funding, the scheme aims to bring together experts to work on projects that are important to people with cystic fibrosis.

One of these areas is maternal and child health.

Cystic fibrosis care has seen remarkable advances in the past few years with the introduction of of highly effective CTFR modulator drugs that work to tackle the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis.

These drugs have allowed a significant proportion of people with cystic fibrosis to live longer and healthier lives. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of people with cystic fibrosis who are becoming parents, and many more considering parenthood.

Consequently, this brings up complex unanswered questions around reproductive, maternal and child health, including any possible effects of CFTR modulator drugs on pregnancy and in babies.

The centre will be co-led by Dr Imogen Felton, respiratory consultant, and Professor Jane Davies, paediatric respiratory consultant.

Dr Felton explained why it is important to fill the knowledge gap:

“After such exciting advances in the management of CF over the past few years with many more life opportunities now available, our patients really led the way in asking us to provide a better evidence base for them to make choices about their own reproductive health goals and routes to parenthood.”

Dr Felton went onto to explain the importance of this funding and said:

“By virtue of our established vertical-model of paediatric-to-adult CF care and research at Royal Brompton, our collection of studies with international clinical-scientists and epidemiologists, will not only pave the way to better understand the interplay of pregnancy on CF-maternal health but also the impact of new CF treatments in utero on offspring health in this modern therapeutic era."

The programme of research will be undertaken in collaboration with King's College London, Imperial College London, University of Liverpool, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of Alabama, USA and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA.

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