Sunday, September 19, 2010
"Defanged" Version of HIV Used to Treat Rare Blood Disorder
The Los Angeles Times: HIV virus used to cure a genetic blood disorder, by
For the second time, researchers have used the HIV virus in gene therapy to cure a severe genetic disease, this time the blood disorder beta-thalassemia, which causes life-threatening anemia.
French researchers had previously used a "defanged" version of the virus that causes AIDS to cure two boys with the rare disorder adrenoleukodystrophy, which was at the heart of the popular movie "Lorenzo's Oil." Beta-thalassemia is a much more common disease, and although the new research involved only one patient, it suggests that this approach could have wide applicability. . . .