Gene Therapy


"Jonas Hupcey"

We all have thought about living forever or possibly staying the same age and never getting older.  While we are still far from that goal technology has allowed us to increase our life expectancy quite a bit.  This would be done through gene therapy which is when new genes are added to a patient in order to replace the missing or malfunctioning genes.

Lakewoodites, for the most part, have very healthy habits with all the exercise we get from biking, running, and walking all over the city, but combining these healthy habits could give us a real boost in how long we live.

Gene therapy has been around since the early 1990s and have been improving along with finding better ways to treat people every year.  Right now there are two treatment methods, in the body and out of the body therapy.  The most promising part of this though is what diseases it can help treat.  These include: Cancer, Diabetes, AIDS and many more.

The history of gene therapy goes back a few decades but most recently in the past few years is when the biggest breakthrough has happened.  In 2017 a boy with sickle-cell disease (effects 100,000 in United States) was successfully cured.  In 2018 the FDA approved two big gene therapy products.

One was for rare types of cancer and another one is for a disease that gradually make people go blind.  In 2019 BioMarin, which makes gene therapies, is currently working on a therapy that is treating type of hemophilia.  About a dozen people have been help by this cure and a year after the treatment people have seen immense progress and are getting extremely better.

While talking to senior Harlan Hoegner about what he thinks about gene therapy he said, “From what I have heard we are only at the early stages still but it is definitely something that we should keep trying to improve because we could potentially live two, three or maybe even four times as long as we are expected to.