In order to cure genetic disorder by permanently changing the human genome,scientists have edited the DNA of a patients body for the first time in medical history.This news represents major landmark in the medical field and was reported on Wednesday by Associated Press.
Over the past years,therapies that aim to treat disease by altering a patients genetics have made strides but typically those therapies have relied on making any genetic changes outside of the human body, then transfusing the corrected cells into the patient. While allowing doctors to ensure the treatment causes no undesired effects before being put inside a patient’s body, the approach also limits treatment to conditions like blood cancers in which cells can easily be altered externally.
The AP reports which on Monday, Brian Madeaux ,a 44 year old man was hooked up to an IV that delivered billions of copies of a corrective gene into his body .With this corrected gene, his body should be able to produce crucial enzyme.
The first-of-its-kind therapy is made by Sangamo Therapeutics. Madeaux was treated at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland. He’s only the first patient in a clinical trial using the zinc finger nucleases technique (an older alternative to CRISPR) to treat Hunter syndrome. Two additional trials are underway that use the same liver-targeted genome editing strategy to treat hemophilia B and a condition called Hurler syndrome.
The AP reported that only 1 percent of Madeux’s liver cells would need to be corrected in order to effectively treat the disease. In three months, they’ll know for certain whether it’s working.But, as will any new technology, there still could be unforseen consequences.