Patients suffering from CF have a mutated enzyme which causes the body to produce a sticky mucus that floods the lungs, and in some patients the pancreas and intestines. The average lifespan for a patient is about 37 years old.
Since the disease was discovered in the late 1980's, doctors were not able to cure CF, only treat the symptoms.
But now, a new drug called Kalydeco treats one of forms of cystic fibrosis. The drug treats the G551D mutation, which makes about about 4 percent of patients. Medical professionals say the drug reverses the way the mutated gene functions.
"It certainly doesn't cure the disease, but it makes a person function like they don't have it," says Dr. Natalie Sollo from Via Christi. She treats about 200 CF patients at the hospitals clinic.
She added that even though this drug would only help a small number of her patients, she feels it's a step in the right direction.
"It's a huge breakthrough because it's really a new way of approaching treating the disease. The fact that this seems to be working means that it's worth pursuing for other mutations."
There are about 1800 known mutations of cystic fibrosis.