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Thread: Gene Therapy Is Facing Biggest Challenge Yet

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Gene Therapy Is Facing Biggest Challenge Yet

    Heidi Ledford
    December 4, 2019

    Grajevis Bakatunkanda’s mother knew the signs: when her son lost interest in dinner, that meant the pain was on its way. It would strike, like clockwork, nearly every week. Soon the shy, skinny boy would be at the hospital near their home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where doctors would provide morphine for the pain and invariably diagnose him with malaria.

    It turns out the doctors were wrong. The culprits were not parasites, but.........


    Keep Reading: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03698-8

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gene Therapy Is Facing Biggest Challenge Yet

    It was news to me that chemotherapy is part of the gene therapy process. It was also news to me that chemotherapy associated with gene editing can result in infertility, cancer later in life, and other health issues. This article makes me wonder "if the juice is worth the squeeze?"

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gene Therapy Is Facing Biggest Challenge Yet

    Many procedures require the careful wording of risk versus benefit, and this is just another example.
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gene Therapy Is Facing Biggest Challenge Yet

    It was a surprise to me to learn that chemo was an integral part of the gene editing process--CRISPR. We often hear about the common side effects of chemo--hair loss, fatigue, nausea, etc., but it was a revelation for me to learn "infertility" can be a side effect. A long term St. Jude Childhood Cancer Survivor Study looked at over 10,000 teenagers to determine whether chemo had impacted their ability to procreate. Results: About 30% of females could not reproduce, and after age 30 almost none of them did. Only about 50% of males were able to reproduce. Male sperm is highly susceptible to more than a dozen chemo drugs. Read more:
    https://ccss.stjude.org/content/dam/...prop-07-06.pdf

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gene Therapy Is Facing Biggest Challenge Yet

    Wow, that's a lot. I wonder if it would make sense, or be affordable, for women to freeze their eggs, and men to freeze sperm, in advance of chemotherapy treatment.
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gene Therapy Is Facing Biggest Challenge Yet

    Exactly!! In the attached article, it's referred to as "Pre-treatment Talk." Before post puberty young people are subjected to chemo, health care teams are beginning to discuss their "fertility preservation options." Read more:
    https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/ce...survivors.html

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