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Lesson Plan: Developments in the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis
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This lesson plan analyses an article on a new cystic fibrosis drug and teaches associated vocabulary.

B2-C1 level

Teacher Notes

What do you know about CF?

  • The term cystic fibrosis comes from:

cystic: describing a cyst, from the Greek word kystis which means bladder or pouch. In the case of CF, the cysts form in the pancreas.

fibrosis: fibrous growth in an organ (in the case of CF, in the pancreas)from the Latin word fibra which means a fibre or filament.

  • CF was recognised as a specific disease by Dorothy Hansine Andersen, an American pathologist and paediatrician in 1938, although descriptions of the condition are evident from the late 16th century.

Language Focus

  • Language Focus 1: Adjectives with life

life-extending: helping people live longer

life-shortening: condition which causes people to have a shorter life than the average person

life-threatening: condition which may cause a person to die

life-affirming: something which makes you feel glad to be alive

lifespan: the period of time that a person exists

lifetime: the period of time something or someone exists (I’ve seen many changes in my lifetime)


  • Language Focus 2: describing death

fatal: something which is able to cause death (I a fatal illness) or a serious consequence (a fatal flaw in the design of the building)

mortal: something that causes deathe.g. a mortal blow to the head

lethal: something which is specifically designed to cause death, e.g. a lethal injection to execute someone

terminal: likely to cause death, often used to describe the end stages of an illness, e.g. terminal cancer

deathly: something which resembles death, e.g. a deathly pallor (very pale skin)

Now, read the article and answer the questions.

1. Why do people with CF require frequent hospitalisation?

2. Why might the new drug be ‘good for taxpayers and patients’?

3. What is a ‘green light’? What other expression do you know with the same meaning? 

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis drug given green light in England

life-extending drug for cystic fibrosis will be available on the NHS in England, health bosses say.

NHS England reached a deal with the manufacturers of Orkambi, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, after months of negotiations. Patients should be able to get the drug within 30 days.

The drug improves lung function and can be given to children as young as two.

The firm wanted to charge £100,000 per patient per year, but a compromise has been reached in a confidential deal.

It is understood to be significantly less than the sum originally asked for.

It comes after the Scottish Government reached an agreement with the manufacturers last month.

Wales and Northern Ireland can also access the drug under the same terms negotiated by NHS England.

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