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Any More Info on Gene Therapy?
from Jim P.

Hi Ed. How’s things your side of the planet? Just coming in to fall as you yanks call it. Weather is glorious this time of the year in Australia. My P has been playing up, so after a break of around three years I decided to visit the derm.

My legs were the main problem area. He changed my treatment from PUVA and coal tar to Daivonex [Dovonex in the U.S.] and UVB. The only draw back is you need to be permanently unemployed, or a pensioner, to be able to find the time for the treatment. But anyway, I’m as pleased as punch with the results. So far I’ve had around 8 light treatments and my P has practically faded to skin colour. And, as all P sufferers know, it makes you feel like you have won lotto when you see any improvement.

Anyway, Ed, I’m off to the beach! All the best, -Jim P.

P.S. Ed, I’m a great believer that gene therapy holds the hidden secrets to a cure for P. Have we anymore info in layman’s talk we can look up on the net? -JP


Ed’s Response: Howdy, Jim. The most recent specific blurb I found on P and gene therapy was at www.psoriasis.org — the National Psoriasis Foundation site. Click here. This is a short report from the May/June 1999 issue of the NPF Bulletin. My take on the current situation — which is merely what I interpret from what I read — is that some combination of genes, rather than a single gene, is now suspected of being at the root of our flaking. This lengthens the shadow of doubt that anything actionable will arise from the research quickly. Further, gene therapy research at large took a serious hit last year when a young American lad, subject of a research trial (not P-related), died. As is often the case, the greater the potential, the greater the risks.

I’ve adjusted my attitude accordingly: I’m 49 years old this year and do not expect to see gene therapy rid me of flaking while it could still make a difference to my quality of life. But I still think, as you do Jim, that it is our strongest hope for a cure in the future. P causes pain in main different ways, and one of them is the realization that, as we flakers procreate, we are passing along our proclivity to flake. That is a particular pain that hope for gene therapy helps mitigate. It might not cure me, but there’s every reason to believe it may cure our children or our grandchildren.

As you are spending your last available days at the beach before winter, in the north we’re gearing up for summer. Last year it was dry and way too parched for my tastes. This year we’re praying for just enough rain (no El Nino flood rains, please) to keep it green and beautiful through September.

When it’s too cold to go outside and play, Jim, write to us again! -Ed

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