Navigation Links
Can gene therapy cure fatal diseases in children?
Date:9/5/2012

In order for the body to function, a balance is necessary between the cells that build up the bones in our skeletons and the cells that break them down. In the disease malignant infantile osteopetrosis, MIOP, the cells that break down the bone tissue do not function as they should, resulting in the skeleton not having sufficient cavities for bone-marrow and nerves.

"Optic and auditory nerves are compressed, causing blindness and deafness in these children. Finally the bone marrow ceases to function and, without treatment, the child dies of anaemia and infections", explains Carmen Flores Bjurstrm. She has just completed a thesis which presents some of the research at the division for Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy in Lund.

The researchers' work focuses on finding alternatives to the only treatment currently available against MIOP, namely a bone-marrow transplant. This treatment can be effective, but it is both risky and dependent on finding a suitable donor.

Gene therapy requires no donor, as stem cells are taken from the patients themselves. Once the cells' non-functioning gene has been replaced with a healthy copy of itself, the stem cells are put back into the patient.

Great hopes have been placed on gene therapy as a treatment method but the work has proven to be more difficult than expected. The method is used today for certain immunodeficiency diseases, and has also been applied to a blood disorder called thalassemia.

"So far, the method is not risk-free. Since it is impossible to control where the introduced gene ends up, there is a certain risk of it ending up in the wrong place and giving rise to leukaemia. This is why gene therapy is only used for serious diseases for which there is no good treatment", says Carmen Flores Bjurstrm.

The Lund researchers have conducted experiments with gene therapy in both patient cells and laboratory animals. The next step is to conduct trials on patients. The trials will probably take place at the hospital in Ulm, Germany, which currently treats the majority of children in Europe suffering from MIOP.

MIOP is a rare disease: in Sweden a child is born with the condition approximately once every three years. Worldwide, the incidence of the disease is one case for every 300 000 births. It is, however, more common in Costa Rica where 3-4 children per 100 000 births have the disease.

"But there are several other genetic mutations that lead to other osteopetrosis diseases. If we manage to treat MIOP, it may become possible to treat these other conditions as well", hopes Carmen Flores Bjurstrm along with her supervisor, Professor Johan Richter.


'/>"/>
Contact: Carmen Flores Bjurstrm
carmen.flores@med.lu.se
0046-462-220-590
Lund University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. KRAS gene mutation and amplification status affects sensitivity to antifolate therapy
2. Antibody therapy prevents gastrointestinal damage following radiation exposure in mice
3. Chemotherapy proves life-saving for some leukemia patients who fail induction therapy
4. Immunotherapy for elderly cancer patients finds new promise in drug combination
5. Therapy exploits addiction of leukemia cells
6. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy optimal for localized prostate cancer
7. Adding drug to standard chemotherapy provides no survival benefit for older lung cancer patients
8. Study Casts Doubt on Value of Pricey Prostate Cancer Therapy
9. 19th century therapy for Parkinsons disease may help patients today
10. New Psoriasis Drugs Not Much Better Than Standard Therapy, Study Finds
11. Xenotransplantation as a therapy for type 1 diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... is using cutting edge technology to revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for ... Many are aware of how Uber has disrupted the taxi industry through the ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media ... give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ... Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes ... Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , ... advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency ... named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. ... Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the ... In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, ... just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... Market by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), ... (Insulin, GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) ... MarketsandMarkets, This report studies the market for the forecast ... to reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD ...
(Date:6/24/2016)...  Arkis BioSciences, a leading innovator in the ... cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced it has secured ... led by Innova Memphis, followed by Angel Capital ... Arkis, new financing will accelerate the commercialization of ... of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made an ... current process. Many of them do not even offer this ... and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able ... such a high cost that the majority of today,s patients ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: