#NACFC — Denver to Host World’s Top Cystic Fibrosis Experts in October for Conference

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by Larry Luxner |

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NACFC in Denver

Denver's Colorado Convention Center will host NACFC 2018, set for Oct. 18-20. (Photo courtesy of Colorado Convention Center)

A record 5,000 people from dozens of countries will gather next month in Denver for the 32nd Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) — the world’s largest event focused on cystic fibrosis (CF) research and care.

The Oct. 18-20 event at Denver’s Colorado Convention Center features 24 symposium sessions, 31 workshops, 23 discipline group sessions, 10 brown-bag luncheons, and 79 roundtable luncheons, as well as four pre-conference special classes and nine pre-conference short courses on Oct. 17.

Also on the agenda are six thematic poster sessions, 802 posters, and more than 600 speakers and session leaders. It’s all being arranged by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), a 63-year-old nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Maryland.

“This annual meeting brings together scientists, clinicians and caregivers from around the world to discuss and share ideas on the latest advances in CF research, care and drug development, and to exchange ideas about ways to improve the health and quality of life for people with CF,” the organization said on its website.

The annual conference began in 1986, with 300 participants. Last year’s gathering in Indianapolis attracted 4,400 people from 46 countries.

The highlight of NACFC 2018 will be plenary sessions by three of the world’s top CF experts.

The first, “Improving Outcomes of Infections in the Age of CFTR Modulators,” is to be presented Oct. 18 by Lisa Saiman, MD, a professor of pediatrics at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, and an attending physician at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. Saiman’s primary research areas are infectious diseases and microbiology issues in people with CF, as well as healthcare-acquired infections and multidrug-resistant pathogens.

The second, “Anti-inflammatories & Mucociliary Clearance Therapies in the Age of CFTR Modulators,” will be presented Oct. 19 by Felix Ratjen, MD, division chief of pediatric respiratory medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Ratjen’s research interests include early intervention strategies in pediatric lung diseases and physiological tests to assess early lung disease, with a particular focus on CF.

The third, “Partnering: The Oldest New Idea to Improve CF Care,” is scheduled for Oct. 20 by Maren Batalden, MD, along with three panelists: Kathryn Sabadosa, Melanie Abdelnour, and Cynthia George. Batalden is associate chief quality officer, associate director of graduate medical education for quality and safety, and director of medical management at the Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She leads improvement initiatives in the areas of inpatient care, care transitions, and cross-continuum population health projects for patients with chronic diseases.

Besides the three plenaries, other sessions will be livestreamed for those unable to attend the conference, according to CFF’s website. Archived versions of all the live sessions will be made available 24 hours after their initial broadcast. These include the following:

Thursday, Oct. 18:

“Advancing Basic Science Toward a ‘One-Time’ CF Cure”

  • “Pro/Con: Current Debate in Pulmonary Treatments”
  • “Controversial Practices: Helpful or Harmful”
  • “Healthy Habits: Promoting Physical & Mental Health Through Sleep, Exercise & Nutrition”

Friday, Oct. 19:

  • “The Changing Face of Pulmonary Exacerbation Treatment”
  • “Progress & Promise of the CFTR Modulator Pipeline”
  • “Novel Approaches to Modulate CFTR”
  • “Nutrition Research”

Saturday, Oct. 20:

  • “CF Airway Inflammation”
  • “Progress in CF Pulmonary Disease”
  • “Pain Management in CF”
  • “Adulting with CF”

Continuing education credits will be available to physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, dietitians, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, pharmacists, genetic counselors, and psychologists.

Registration for the full three days costs $925 for the general public and $1,150 for corporate representatives, with discounts for students and retirees. For more information about registration and fees, click here.