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Sample Essay

The lack of FVIII or IX in hemophiliac patients is conventionally treated by administering doses of the relevant factor. The factor in question is obtained from donor blood. The drawback of this treatment is that a significant percentage of patients treated in this way develop antibody inhibitors against the transfused factors. These inhibitors are primarily of the immunoglobulin class and work by neutralizing the coagulating properties of FVIII and FIX. The presence of inhibiting antibodies in the patients’ blood occurs in direct proportion to the age of the coagulating factor recipient.

This means that the younger the patient is when he begins receiving the treatment the more likely he is to develop antibodies against the factors. This also means that as the patient gets older he is more likely he is to require larger and larger doses of clotting factors. The recent development of Recombinant activated FVIIa has assisted in the treatment of patients with antibody inhibitors. However the high cost of this treatment as well as some episodes of bleeding complications in patients has led to a cautious approach among doctors treating hemophiliacs.

This gives further credence to the theory that genetic therapy is the need of the hour in the treatment of hemophilia.

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