Researchers are having success using a "defanged" version of HIV to deliver gene therapy to children suffering from genetic diseases, a development that could improve other such care.
- Defanged HIV Shows Promise in Gene Therapy
"Six children with rare genetic diseases were successfully treated using gene therapy that was delivered with a modified form of the AIDS virus, researchers said Thursday. HIV, which causes AIDS, is proving a boon to gene therapy because the ability to infect cells that makes the virus so dangerous has also rendered it an efficient agent for delivering replacement genes into a patient." (Winslow, The Wall Street Journal, 7/11)
- Gene Therapy Using HIV Helps Children With Fatal Diseases, Study Says
"Italian researchers have used a defanged version of HIV to replace faulty genes -- and eliminate devastating symptoms -- in children suffering two rare and fatal genetic diseases. Improved gene therapy techniques prevented the onset of metachromatic leukodystrophy in three young children and halted the progression of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome in three others." (Pandika, Los Angeles Times, 7/11)
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This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.