A new study published in the journal Nature has suggested that people with genetic diseases can be treated with their own cells in the future after a group of researchers managed to correct a genetic mutation found in the stem cells of a patient with liver disease.
Currently patients hoping for stem cell treatment have to rely on stem cells procured from another individual since their own stem cells cannot be used as they too contain corrupted genetic code. However the new study has paved way to hopes that stem cell technology and precision gene therapy could combine in future to treat even the rarest of disease.
The study was conducted by researchers at Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who corrected the code contained in the stem cells of a patient with liver disease. They did this by cutting out the erratic code in the cell by using a molecular scalpel and inserted the correct code.
Stating that more tests have to be done in order to check whether such a method would be safe, lead researcher Allan Bradley said, "We have developed new systems to target genes and correct defects in patient cells. These are early steps, but if this technology can be taken into treatment, it will offer great possible benefits for patients."