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Gene Therapy Helps To Cure 'Incurable' Illness

The immune systems of two men who were born with an "incurable" genetic disorder that made them almost defenceless against bacterial and fungal infections has been repaired with Gene therapy. // Sixteen months after an operation to repair a defective gene, the once severely ill patients show signs of complete recovery, a German-based team of scientists said Sunday. Scientists believe that this latest success will lead to further operations for treating other such chronic and incurable conditions due to inheritance of defective genes. These cutting-edge techniques have mainly been used in the past to help sick children. Dorothee von Laer, gene therapy coordinator at the Georg Speyer laboratory in Frankfurt, said two males, aged 25 and 26, had been treated for a hereditary autoimmune disease over the past two years at Frankfurt University Hospital. She said the new technique might prove suitable for other diseases where people are born with a defective gene. Gene therapy is a procedure involving the alteration of a person's genome to repair or replace a mutated gene. After years research, the technique has finally seems to have proven its potential with a handful of successful operations. The treatment of two men with chronic granulomatous disorder (CGD) is the latest success. The men suffered repeated life-threatening infections from bacteria and fungi from an early age had to rely on powerful antibiotics and antifungal medicines. After their operations 16 months ago, both patients have gained weight and have been free of the severe infections that have plagued them since childhood. Manual Grez of the Institute for Biomedical Research in Frankfurt, one of the leaders of the study published in the journal Nature Medicine, said the results suggest that it may be possible to use gene therapy to treat other similar inherited diseases. Stating that the work was a landmark study he said that though the results are very positive there still has to be a lot of wor
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