Gene therapy scientists move closer to finding ‘cure’ for sickle cell disease

By TVCN April 30, 2019.

Gene therapy scientists are moving closer to finding a cure for sickle cell disease.

Some scientists in the united states have unveiled results of a small clinical trial and if all goes well, it could mean an effective “cure” for sickle cell anemia.

Leukemia, Lymphoma and sickle cell are diseases that afflict the Blood cells making them dysfunctional.

According to the World Health Organisation , Sickle Cell disease is the most common genetic disease worldwide and for years issues pertaining to the management of the disease have been on the front burner.

The major concern being how to reduce the number of deaths from the disease and improve qualify of life for sufferers.

With Nigeria having the highest number of people living with the condition in the world, any news of a possible cure is great news.

Some Scientists in the United States have unveiled results of a small clinical trial. This trial upon completion could mean an effective “cure” for sickle cell anemia bringing to an end the worries of having to deal with the trauma of sickle cell.

Researchers at the United States National Institutes of Health say they used gene therapy techniques to add a “corrected” gene for healthy red blood cells.

This they put into the bodies of nine test patients, replacing their diseased red blood cells caused by sickle cell anemia and effectively ridding them of signs of the disease.

Within two or three months, the nine patients showed signs of remission and were starting to discover normal health for the first time in their lives

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that causes protein crystals to form inside red blood cells, changing their shape from a flat disk into a crescent or sickle shape that then clogs up the small blood vessels and results in terrible episodes of pain and organ damage.

The researchers at the NIH believe there are about 7,000 other diseases that could benefit from the single-gene addition therapy. But they say it requires many more years of hard work.

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