Gene therapy restores immunity in infants with rare immunodeficiency disease

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A small clinical trial has shown that gene therapy can safely correct the immune systems of infants newly diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening inherited disorder in which infection-fighting immune cells do not develop or function normally.

Eight infants with the disorder, called X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (X-SCID), received an experimental gene therapy co-developed by National Institutes of Health scientists.

They experienced substantial improvements in immune system function and were growing normally up to two years after treatment. The new approach appears safer and more effective than previously tested gene-therapy strategies for X-SCID.

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