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X-CGD | Overview

X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD) is a rare inherited immune system disorder that affects boys. X-CGD is caused by an error in a gene called gp91-phox, which affects the proper function of phagocytes — white blood cells that ordinarily help the body fight and protect against infection. Phagocytes need an enzyme called phagocyte NADPH oxidase (PHOX) to produce a chemical "bleach" that destroys bacteria and fungi,  Since CGD phagocytes are missing key proteins, they fail to generate these infection-fighting chemicals.

How gene therapy for X-CGD works

Gene therapy aims to correct gp91-phox, the dysfunctional gene that causes X-CGD. To perform X-CGD gene therapy, a patient’s blood stem cells (these are the cells that give rise to all mature blood stem cells) are collected. In a highly-specialized laboratory, a viral vector is used as a carrier to insert a correct version of the faulty gp91-phox gene into the patient’s stem cells. Then, the patient receives chemotherapy to make room for the genetically-altered cells. Finally, the cells are given back to the patient via an intravenous infusion. After the transplant, the stem cells are able to produce new white blood cells that can fight off infection.

Brenden meets with his doctor.

Meet Brenden

December 2015 was when his trajectory changed. At 22, he came to Boston Children’s and became the first person in the U.S. to receive a genetic therapy for CGD under a new international trial. And so far it has worked.

Read his story

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