Tobacco smoke exposure limits the therapeutic benefit of tezacaftor/ivacaftor in pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis

Academic Article


  • Objectives: Tobacco smoke exposure reduces CFTR functional expression in vitro and contributes to acquired CFTR dysfunction. We investigated whether it also inhibits the clinical benefit of CFTR modulators, focusing on tezacaftor/ivacaftor, approved in February 2018 for individuals with CF age ≥12 years. Methods: A retrospective longitudinal analysis of encounter-based data from the CF Foundation Patient Registry (2016–2018) compared the slope of change in lung function (GLI FEV1% predicted) before and after tezacaftor/ivacaftor initiation in smoke-exposed vs unexposed age-eligible pediatric patients. Tobacco smoke exposure (Ever/Never) was determined from caregiver self-report. Statistical analyses used hierarchical linear mixed modeling and fixed effects regression modeling. Results: The sample included 6,653 individuals with a total of 105,539 person-period observations. Tezacaftor/ivacaftor was prescribed to 19% (1,251) of individuals, mean age 17 years, mean baseline ppFEV1 83%, 28% smoke-exposed. Tezacaftor/ivacaftor users who were smoke-exposed had a lower baseline ppFEV1 and experienced a greater lung function decline. Over two years, the difference in ppFEV1 by smoke exposure among tezacaftor/ivacaftor users increased by 1.2% (7.6% to 8.8%, p<0.001). In both mixed effects and fixed effects regression models, tezacaftor/ivacaftor use was associated with improved ppFEV1 among unexposed individuals (1.2% and 1.7%, respectively; p<0.001 for both) but provided no benefit among smoke-exposed counterparts (0.3%, p = 0.5 and 0.6%, p = 0.07, respectively). Conclusion: Tobacco smoke exposure nullifies the therapeutic benefit of tezacaftor/ivacaftor among individuals with CF aged 12–20 years old. To maximize the therapeutic opportunity of CFTR modulators, every effort must be taken to eliminate smoke exposure in CF.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Baker E; Harris WT; Rowe SM; Rutland SB; Oates GR
  • Start Page

  • 612
  • End Page

  • 617
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 4