In the final chapter of my 2012 book The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It, I predicted that the technology would soon expand well beyond the rare disease world.
I was overoptimistic. Gene therapy clearly hasn't had a major impact on health care, offering extremely expensive treatments for a few individuals with rare diseases. We're still learning possible outcomes of sending millions of altered viruses into a human body. Can they deliver healing genes without triggering an overactive immune response?
A report in the September 28, 2023 The New England Journal of Medicine describes a young man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) who died just days after receiving gene therapy. The details are disturbingly reminiscent of the famous case of Jesse Gelsinger, who died from a ferocious immune response to experimental gene therapy in September 1999.
To continue reading, go to DNA Science, where this post first appeared.