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Gene Therapy shows promise in treating Hemophilia

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reported in the current New England Journal of Medicine that an experimental Gene Therapy method has safely introduced new genes into six men suffering from hemophilia. This method shows signs of helping these men fight the disease by producing the blood clotting protein they lack. None of the patients suffers side effects even after one year of the treatment.

The study was designed only to test the safety and not the effectiveness of the treatment of hemophilia. This disease is genetically transmitted and is characterised by excessive bleeding. Researchers belive this study could some day be applied to treat other diseases such as diabetes. For thousands of hemophiliacs around the world, this treatment using gene therapy will come as a life saving blessing.

However the researchers are cautious and feel more examination is necessary before the method can be declared safe. Further studies are on to cross check that the cells inserted as a part of this method into the patients body do not cause the reaction or turn malignant. The next step is to look for ways to produce more clotting factor consistently.

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