Gene therapy trial suffers new setback


JUST when things were starting to look rosier for gene therapy, a key clinical trial in France has suffered a renewed blow. The trial was about to resume, having been suspended since January 2003 because two of the patients developed leukaemia. Now a third boy may have the disease. The boys were among 11 being treated at the Necker Hospital for Sick Children in Paris for X-SCID, a gene defect that blocks the development of a child’s immune system. One of the boys died, but when the other recovered to full health,
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