Cystic Fibrosis Canada participates in the 45th ECFS Conference 

The 45th ECFS Conference Sign

JUNE 24, 2022

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health care professionals and cystic fibrosis (CF) researchers were excited to meet in Rotterdam, The Netherlands from June 9-11th, 2022 for the European CF Society’s (ECFS) Conference. This year’s meeting was the 45th time participants have come together under the ECFS banner to discuss CF research and care and included 1750 participants representing nearly every continent. 

Canada was well represented at the conference with several CF clinicians and researchers from across the country as well as three members of the Cystic Fibrosis Canada team: Dr. John Wallenburg, Chief Scientific Officer; Dr. Maggie McIlwaine, Network Manager, CF Canada’s Clinical Trials Network (CF-CanACT); and Dr. Paul Eckford, Program Director, Research. 

“Attending the ECFS conference after two-year hiatus was a very powerful reminder of just how much this disease has evolved in recent years, but also how important the international community is. The modulators have changed the way that we talk about cystic fibrosis but have also impacted the direction of the research that we all conduct. It was wonderful to see the community unite to progress the treatment and care for everyone living with cystic fibrosis.” -Dr. John Wallenburg, Chief Scientific Officer, Cystic Fibrosis Canada. 

Cystic Fibrosis Canada’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. John Wallenburg joins Dr. Maggie McIlwaine, Network Manager, CF-CanACT, and Dr. Paul Eckford, Program Director, Research (behind the camera) at the 45th European CF Society Conference in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The CF Canada team was eager to hear about the latest research discoveries and clinical recommendations happening across the globe and learn from the experiences of our peers from Europe, the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. The team also met with representatives from companies looking to bring potential new CF therapeutics to clinical trials in Canada over the next few years. 

Here are a few of the many topics of discussion and research presentations at the conference that the team at Cystic Fibrosis Canada will be watching closely for over the next few years:  

  • Studies on long-term use of CF modulators in people with CF, including the impact on fertility and pregnancy, 
  • reducing the treatment burden and improving compliance with CF treatments,  
  • use of the organoid and nasal cell models to study the impact of CF modulator drugs in rare mutations,
  • monitoring CF in the clinic using research tools 
  • new outcome measures for clinical trials and decentralizing clinical trials 
  • COVID infection in people with CF,  
  • CF-related diabetes,  
  • CF and aging, and
  • new emerging studies in the field of gene therapy, which may one day change the course of Cystic Fibrosis for all. 

With the enhanced understanding of where the next breakthroughs in research could come from, the team at Cystic Fibrosis Canada is excited for the upcoming launch of the 2022 research funding competition and to start preparing the clinical trials network for the next clinical trial studies.