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Immunodeficiency Diseases Treatment: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Patients with immunodeficiency diseases have immune systems that do not work correctly. People with these disorders are more likely to get infections such as colds and flu. The infections may be serious and life threatening. It’s important to diagnose immunodeficiency diseases early so patients can begin treatment and avoid infections. 

  2. St. Jude treats children and young adults with these primary immunodeficiency diseases:

    St. Jude also treats children in the Memphis area who have acquired immunodeficiency disease, such as HIV/AIDS.

  3. St. Jude has a history of treating children with primary immunodeficiency diseases. Our Transplant Program is one of the world’s largest bone marrow transplant programs for children and young adults. Learn more at Why St. Jude for My Child’s Transplant?

    We also have doctors and researchers who devote their careers to treating immunodeficiency diseases. Our scientists are working on gene therapies that aim to cure certain immunodeficiency diseases. The Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility on our campus makes materials for gene therapy clinical trials under strict federal guidelines.

    Learn more about Immunodeficiency Disease Research at St. Jude

  4. You or your child’s doctor can contact our Referral Office at 866-2STJUDE (866-278-5833). We accept referrals and second-opinion requests for diseases we treat. If you need a referral for a specific immunodeficiency study, contact our immunodeficiency treatment team at or 901-222-2222. For more details, read our patient referral guidelines.

    Patients who are eligible for certain studies are referred to St. Jude for treatment. Currently, St. Jude has a clinical trial open for newborns and children under age 1 with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency disease (X-linked SCID). St. Jude is also planning clinical trials for children with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome and older children with X-linked SCID.

    View clinical trials

  5. A major part of treatment at St. Jude is focused on research. St. Jude conducts clinical trials that test the safety and effectiveness of potential treatments for different types of diseases, including primary immunodeficiency diseases. Learn more about participating in clinical research.

  6. If your child has a matched sibling donor, your doctor will suggest a bone marrow transplant. The Transplant Program at St. Jude is one of the largest in the world dedicated to children and young adults.

    If your child does not have a matched sibling donor, another treatment may be recommended. This may include a clinical trial involving gene therapy that has been shown to produce a full complement of immune cells, which include T cells, B cells and natural killer (NK) cells.

  7. Patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases are born with the disorder because of a genetic mutation passed down by one or both parents. Newborn screening tests help identify babies with primary immunodeficiency diseases.

    Acquired, or secondary, immune deficiency diseases are caused by outside sources. These sources may be infections or toxins. AIDS is one such disease that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus is passed through bodily fluids, such as blood and semen. Although mothers with HIV/AIDS can pass the virus to their babies at birth, it is not considered a primary immunodeficiency disease. Learn more about HIV/AIDS in our Infectious Diseases Program

  8. Researchers at St. Jude are testing gene therapy as a way to cure children with certain types of immunodeficiency diseases. Recently, St. Jude took part in a research study with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Early results showed that the health of older children and young adults with X-linked SCID had improved after treatment with a type of gene therapy. St. Jude developed the process and made the gene therapy materials on the St. Jude campus under strict federal guidelines. Our researchers are studying whether this therapy can benefit infants and young children with X-linked SCID. Recent results show that this type of gene therapy that includes a low-dose chemotherapy agent can result in a cure for patients.. Learn more about our gene therapy research.


Refer a Patient with an Immunodeficiency Disease