gene-cell-therapy

Gene Therapy is the transfer of genetic material (gene transfer) to dysfunctional cells to correct a deficiency in the DNA or genome of a patient. Cell Therapy, such as stem cell therapy, can also be used to achieve these goals. These approaches can be applied to genetic disorders as well as diseases acquired over the lifetime of an individual, such as cancer or infection, to confer a specific property to the cell allowing it to combat the disease.

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Gene Therapy in the News

  • A key factor in understanding the elevated cancer risk associated with gene therapy has been uncovered by researchers. They conducted research on mice with a rare disease similar to one in humans, hoping their findings may eventually help improve gene therapy for humans.

  • A technique for 'editing' the genome in sperm-producing adult stem cells has been demonstrated by researchers, a result with powerful potential for basic research and for gene therapy. The study involved spermatogonial stem cells, which are the foundation for the production of sperm and are the only adult stem cells that contribute genetic information to the next generation. Repairing flaws in the cells could thus prevent mutations from being passed to future generations, researchers say.

  • New research challenges the view that cancer treatment in itself is a direct cause of a fatal form of leukemia that can develop several years after chemotherapy or radiation. For a small percentage of cancer patients, treatment aimed at curing the disease leads to a form of leukemia with a poor prognosis.

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© 2012 Gene Therapy Review. All Rights Reserved. ISSN (print) 1792-0094, ISSN (online) 1792-0108