The BBC One programme is to feature the story of a patient from Reading who has choroideremia, a progressive loss of vision.
The patient took part in an ongoing gene therapy trial that is being performed at the John Radcliffe Hospital by the Nuffield Laboratory of Ophthalmology, led by University of Oxford Professor and OUH Consultant Ophthalmologist Robert MacLaren.
Choroideremia is a currently incurable genetic eye disorder caused by a mutation in a single gene.The new treatment seeks to replace a ‘normal’ version of that gene, offering the potential to halt or even partially reverse vision loss.
The treatment is delivered to the eye by an injection, underneath the retina, of a virus that contains the correct version of the gene. The injection places the viral particles in the correct anatomical location, and the virus itself delivers the correct copy of the gene into the dysfunctional cells.
A number of patients in this ongoing trial have already been enrolled and received gene therapy. If successful, this technique may be applied more widely to other genetic retinal diseases.
The programme is planned to broadcast on Wednesday, July 8 from 7pm.