Bangalore turns to gene therapy.

Altering genes to cure diseases has moved from sci-fi flicks to a major research investment in India. And Bangalore is also looking at it with hope. The latest in labs here is gene therapy for thalassemia and haemophilia, which affect Indians in large numbers. Doctors and researchers are working to make it a reality. Though treatment could be a long way off, the gene has been found and so too the vector to introduce it into the body. A team of doctors at the recently launched Mazumdar Shaw Centre for Therapeutics is exploring thalassemia treatment. Gene therapy became popular because of its potential in curing genetic blindness but could be a potential saviour in terminal conditions like cancer.

Medical director and vice-president, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center and Narayana Hrudayalaya Multi-Specialty Hospital, Dr Paul C Salins, told TOI: “There is no doubt that the future is in gene therapy. If we can alter the gene itself it’ll have far-reaching implications. Through our research, we’re trying to find out how we can deal with diseases that affect the common man.”  Read more…

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