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In France, Boy Becomes First Sickle Cell Disease Patient to be Treated With Gene Therapy


A 13-year-old boy with sickle cell disease has become the world’s first patient to be successfully treated with gene therapy. The unidentified teenager remains free from sickle crises and other signs of the disease 15 months after his treatment, which was conducted as part of a Phase 1/2 clinical trial (NCT02151526).

The research team, led by Marina Cavazzana, MD, PhD, a hematology professor at Paris-Descartes University in France, inserted an antisickling β-globin gene, with the help of a viral carrier, into the boy’s blood-producing stem cells.

The report, “Gene Therapy in a Patient with Sickle Cell Disease,” appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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