Science Questions

Can Gene/Stem cell therapy treat immune disorders?

Sun, 30th Oct 2011

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Question

Belinda O'Keeffe asked:

Can gene or stem cell therapy be used in the treatment of immune disorders such as Common Variable Immune Disorder / Primary Immune Disorder? Thanks :)

Answer

We posed this question to Professor Adrian Thrasher from Great Ormand Street Hospital and University College London...

Adrian -   Yes, that's certainly the case.  Interestingly, the primary immune deficiencies have been one of the key disorders that has taught us proof of principle that we can successfully treat patients by gene therapy, 40 years back now by bone marrow transplantation.  As we uncover the genetic mistakes that underlie these disorders, of course, we can apply the technologies to treat them.  So common variable immunodeficiency is one of those disorders although we only understand genetic cause for about 10% of them.  So over the next few years we will be able to apply genetic technologies, I'm sure.

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