Children born with severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome (SCID) have traditionally been treated with intense rounds of antibiotics to help manage the disease, but even with this therapy, everyday pathogens can be deadly and the antibiotics are only a short-term fix. Fortunately, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have come up with a strategy to replace patients’ mutated genes with healthy ones.
The surprising therapy involves taking the HIV virus and turning it into a delivery system to get these healthy genes into the body. According to a study published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the therapy has been quite successful and all 50 initial patients who received the treatment are healthy and thriving two to three years after treatment.
Although there is still much work to be done to determine if the treatment is a safe and reliable option in the long run, for now, it seems to be a promising solution for this rare and potentially fatal condition.