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1.  Lumacaftor–Ivacaftor in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis Homozygous for Phe508del CFTR 
The New England journal of medicine  2015;373(3):220-231.
BACKGROUND
Cystic fibrosis is a life-limiting disease that is caused by defective or deficient cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein activity. Phe508del is the most common CFTR mutation.
METHODS
We conducted two phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that were designed to assess the effects of lumacaftor (VX-809), a CFTR corrector, in combination with ivacaftor (VX-770), a CFTR potentiator, in patients 12 years of age or older who had cystic fibrosis and were homozygous for the Phe508del CFTR mutation. In both studies, patients were randomly assigned to receive either lumacaftor (600 mg once daily or 400 mg every 12 hours) in combination with ivacaftor (250 mg every 12 hours) or matched placebo for 24 weeks. The primary end point was the absolute change from baseline in the percentage of predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) at week 24.
RESULTS
A total of 1108 patients underwent randomization and received study drug. The mean baseline FEV1 was 61% of the predicted value. In both studies, there were significant improvements in the primary end point in both lumacaftor–ivacaftor dose groups; the difference between active treatment and placebo with respect to the mean absolute improvement in the percentage of predicted FEV1 ranged from 2.6 to 4.0 percentage points (P<0.001), which corresponded to a mean relative treatment difference of 4.3 to 6.7% (P<0.001). Pooled analyses showed that the rate of pulmonary exacerbations was 30 to 39% lower in the lumacaftor–ivacaftor groups than in the placebo group; the rate of events leading to hospitalization or the use of intravenous antibiotics was lower in the lumacaftor–ivacaftor groups as well. The incidence of adverse events was generally similar in the lumacaftor–ivacaftor and placebo groups. The rate of discontinuation due to an adverse event was 4.2% among patients who received lumacaftor–ivacaftor versus 1.6% among those who received placebo.
CONCLUSIONS
These data show that lumacaftor in combination with ivacaftor provided a benefit for patients with cystic fibrosis homozygous for the Phe508del CFTR mutation. (Funded by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and others; TRAFFIC and TRANSPORT ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01807923 and NCT01807949.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1409547
PMCID: PMC4764353  PMID: 25981758
2.  Mesenchymal stem cells from Shwachman–Diamond syndrome patients display normal functions and do not contribute to hematological defects 
Blood Cancer Journal  2012;2(10):e94-.
Shwachman–Diamond syndrome (SDS) is a rare inherited disorder characterized by bone marrow (BM) dysfunction and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. SDS patients have an increased risk for myelodisplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the key component of the hematopoietic microenvironment and are relevant in inducing genetic mutations leading to leukemia. However, their role in SDS is still unexplored. We demonstrated that morphology, growth kinetics and expression of surface markers of MSCs from SDS patients (SDS-MSCs) were similar to normal MSCs. Moreover, SDS-MSCs were able to differentiate into mesengenic lineages and to inhibit the proliferation of mitogen-activated lymphocytes. We demonstrated in an in vitro coculture system that SDS-MSCs, significantly inhibited neutrophil apoptosis probably through interleukin-6 production. In a long-term coculture with CD34+-sorted cells, SDS-MSCs were able to sustain CD34+ cells survival and to preserve their stemness. Finally, SDS-MSCs had normal karyotype and did not show any chromosomal abnormality observed in the hematological components of the BM of SDS patients. Despite their pivotal role in the hematopoietic stem cell niche, our data suggest that MSC themselves do not seem to be responsible for the hematological defects typical of SDS patients.
doi:10.1038/bcj.2012.40
PMCID: PMC3483621  PMID: 23064742
Shwachman–Diamond syndrome; mesenchymal stem cells; bone marrow failure; SBDS

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