How Cell and Gene Therapy Research Helps Fight Sickle-Cell
Rather than simply treating sick people with medicine, scientists use cell and gene therapy research to find the root causes of various illnesses to try and eradicate those illnesses once and for all. This type of research is currently being used to attempt to find a cure for sickle-cell disease.
Sickle-cell disease is caused by a mistake or mutation in a gene that changes the shape of a person’s red blood cells, causing them to clump together and prevent proper blood flow through the blood vessels. The disease is extremely painful, and people diagnosed with it suffer from several medical complications, including severe organ damage.
As of now, patients with sickle-cell disease usually have a lifespan of about 40 years.
Scientists are currently trying to prevent sickle-cell disease from occurring by taking a patient’s bone marrow, isolating their stem cells, and adding in a special gene that prevents the blood cells from changing shape.
While cell and gene therapy research is still a relatively new technique, many doctors are confident that it can be highly effective in getting rid of sickle-cell disease. With more research, they hope to put a stop to the death and suffering this illness has caused for so many years.