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In September 1990, four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva presented with Severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome that made her vulnerable to even the mildest infections. Trials and tribulations of gene therapy. Soon afterward, Ashanti's parents entered their daughter in a local talent show, which she handily won. Dr French Anderson with 4 year old Ashanti DeSilva. 1990 First approved gene therapy trial. This label also featured such top artists as the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, and Britney Spears. At the age of 14, Ashanti landed her first recording contract, with Jive Records. trans~er . Ashanti and her parents flew to the NIH Clinical Center at Bethesda, Maryland. From then on, Ashanti's mother has acted as her co–manager. As Raj DeSilva told the Houston Chronicle, "What choice did we have?" The treatment did not cure the near-total immune dysfunction that Ashanti suffered, but nonetheless it pulled her out of danger, allowed her to enroll in school, and illustrated the merit of treating genetic diseases at their most basic level. It is a countenance hke that of ]~cob . A single genetic defect- like a typo in a novel- left DeSilva unable to produce an important enzyme. Given these odds, her parents opted to try the therapy. proto~ol, she stands as a symbol of hope and promise. It is the face of Ashanti De Silva, her identity long obscured behind the veil of confidentiality, who at four years old was the . In September 1990, four-year-old Ashanti de Silva became famous in the scientifi c and medical communities as the world’s fi rst gene therapy patient. Sontag, his worried face gracing . People with this genetic disorder do not produce an enzyme necessary for immune system function. Without that enzyme, DeSilva was likely to die a premature death. Ashanti's immune system was partially restored by the therapy. Ashanti was born with adenosine deaminase defi ciency (ADA). Her identity revealed after years m the . As Raj DeSilva told the Houston Chronicle, "What choice did we have?" Its promise was illustrated in 1990 when a 4-year-old girl named Ashanti DeSilva became the world’s first successful gene-therapy patient. Ashanti and her parents flew to the NIH Clinical Center at Bethesda, Maryland. There, over the course of twelve days, Anderson and his colleagues Michael Blaese and Kenneth Culver slowly extracted some of Ashanti's blood cells. protocol with therapeutic intent. fi~st \ subject enrolled in a human gene . Four-year-old Ashanti DeSilva received treatment for a genetic defect that left her with ADA-SCID, a severe immune system deficiency. The defective gene of the patient's blood cells was replaced by the functional variant. 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