Gene therapy to treat a skin disease | Nature News & Views
Medicine

Boy Who Lost 80 Percent of His Epidermis Healed with Genetically Altered Skin

An experimental gene therapy for a rare skin disease sheds light on the cellular mechanisms that help healthy skin continuously regenerate.

Published On 11/08/2017
7:00 PM EST
W W hen the 7-year-old boy arrived at the burn center in Germany, he had already lost 60 percent of his epidermis and was being treated around the clock with morphine. The child wasn’t the victim of a terrible fire, but was the carrier of a rare genetic disease called junctional epidermolysis bullosa (JEB) that had produced blisters and open wounds all over his body since birth. A staph infection had driven him to the verge of death.