The gene race.

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About this work


This documentary looks at the work of two teams of researchers, in the UK and US, as they use different genetic techniques to try to find a treatment for cystic fibrosis. Sean Conroy has the condition and has agreed to be a guinea pig for a potential new treatment, he describes what living with CF is like. Key members of each team describe their approach to using genetics to find an effective treatment. Peter Middleton from the UK team describes to Sean Conroy how they will use liposome mediated gene therapy in the noses of CF sufferers. The US team, on 17 April 1993, were the first to attempt gene therapy for CF, using adenovirus which they injected into the lungs of a 32-year-old patient but this treatment failed and the UK team began their more cautious treatment in August 1993. However in April 1994 results showed that the UK approach, although safer than the US attempt, was not successful and the programme ends as the researchers embark on using their treatment on the lungs rather than in the nose. Unfortunately Sean Conroy died in 1995 after two severe bouts of pneumonia, aged just 21, and would never find out the outcome of the research.


UK : BBC 2, 1996.

Physical description

1 videocassette (VHS) (50 min.) : sound, color, PAL.


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