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Friday, November 17, 2017
Author: B. J. Mayou, MB ChB FRCS
This article was published in the New York Times and I find it particulary revolutionary.
Doctors in Europe have used gene therapy to grow sheets of healthy skin that saved the life of a boy with a genetic disease that's destroyed most of his skin.
Children with the genetic disease of epidermolysis bullosa suffer chronic sores all over the body and malnutrition. They die at an early age from these sores and skin cancers. Dr Michele De Luca has taken the patients diseased skin, grown it in the laboratory to produce sheets of cultured skin. He then corrects the DNA error to produce sheets of normal skin which are grafted back on to the child, who is then essentially cured.
I have spent a lifetime treating these brave children but my treatment was only temporary, the diseased skin would take over and the patient would still succumb at any early age. This is a miracle for these patients and holds hope for revolutionary treatment for other skin diseases.
I look forward to seeing how this treatment progresses over time.