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How do cells learn to treat, prevent, or potentially even cure diseases?

Cells can be reprogrammed at the genetic level to address serious illnesses at their root.

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The human body: an intricate system of trillions of cells, driven by roughly 20,000 genes. And variations in these genes, as small as they may be, make each body unique. But sometimes changes in genes lead to disease. Cells have the potential to handle these changes with the right training. They can be reengineered to target the roots of certain genetic diseases and cancers. Think of these cells as students who can be taught to save lives.

Researchers are developing cell and gene therapies to treat disease at its source. They are changing cells at the core—literally altering them at the genetic level. The current focus is on treating diseases caused by a particular culprit: changes in DNA.

Cell and gene therapies are designed to be one-time treatments with lasting results, whereas conventional medicines often need to be taken continuously for weeks, months or years. They promise to transform patients’ lives and change the landscape of modern medicine.

Watch the video to learn how medicine is changing, and visit Novartis.com to find out more about cell and gene therapy.