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Thu Apr 18, 2019, 07:30 PM

How the HIV virus helped cure babies with no immune systems -- "bubble babies."

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/doctors-use-hiv-in-gene-therapy-to-fix-bubble-boy-disease/

They were born without a working germ-fighting system, every infection a threat to their lives. Now eight babies with “bubble boy disease” have had it fixed by a gene therapy made from one of the immune system’s worst enemies — HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

A study out Wednesday details how scientists turned this enemy virus into a savior, altering it so it couldn’t cause disease and then using it to deliver a gene the boys lacked.

“This therapy has cured the patients,” although it will take more time to see if it’s a permanent fix, said Dr. Ewelina Mamcarz, one of the study leaders at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

SNIP

Study results were published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The treatment was pioneered by a St. Jude doctor who recently died, Brian Sorrentino.

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