Byline: JAMES CHAPMAN
THE safety of pioneering gene therapy experiments was called into question last night as doctors revealed that a young patient has developed leukaemia.
The three-year-old boy is one of 15 children born with defective immune systems given the therapy in a joint exercise between two hospitals in Britain and France.
The treatment appeared to be going well until the child, who would have been otherwise condemned to life in a sterile plastic bubble, developed the cancer.
Initial investigations suggest his illness has been triggered by the treatment, which uses a geneticallymodified virus to cure a genetic defect.