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The Kate Hurd-Mead Lecture: The History of Cystic Fibrosis, and the Future of Genetic Medicine: Treatment, Diagnosis, Screening, Marketing . . . and Transformation
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EST)
In only three years, between 1957 and 1960, the Cleveland Comprehensive Treatment Program for Cystic Fibrosis reduced annual mortality from 10 percent to 2 percent in CF patients being treated there. Early reports of its effects were so incredible that they were considered implausible by others treating CF. After an investigation sponsored by the U.S. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1961 the protocol was introduced in the then 31 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Centers nationwide and annual mortality began to fall nationally. In modified form, the program developed in Cleveland in the late 1950s is still used in the 117 CF Centers in the United States today and in other CF clinics around the world. In this talk, I explore the long term implications of this transformation of CF, from a disease almost always fatal in infancy to one with a living cohort now in their 50s and 60s. CF was transformed by clinical and diagnostic interventions, and can now be recognized in the carrier state, in utero, and in the newborn (where screening is common in the industrialized world). I propose that the story of CF provides compelling insights into the rise of genetic medicine, and both the promises and the difficulties of our increasing access to genetic information at every life stage.
Speaker: Susan Lindee, PhD, History and Sociology of Science, the University of Pennsylvania
Sponsored by the College’s Section on Medical History and the Drexel University College of Medicine.
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