Gene Therapy Hazards And Benifits

Gene Therapy Hazards And Benefits

Gene therapy involves insertion of genes into an individual's cells and tissues to treat chronic disease and genetic disorders in which an impaired mutant gene is replaced with a functional gene. A broader definition of gene therapy includes all applications of DNA technology to treat disease.

          Although the technology is still in its experimental stages, it holds great promise for treating inherited and incurable diseases.

Benefits of Gene Therapy:  

Gene therapy holds a great hope for patients suffering from hemophilia, cancer, muscular Dystrophies and AIDS.

Gene Therapy for Hemophilia:

Hemophilia is a genetic blood disorder cause due to blood clotting factor. Such patients have long been treated by infusing the missing clotting factor, but this treatment is highly expensive and requires almost daily injections. Gene therapy holds great promise for these patients because substitution of the gene that makes the missing protein could permanently wipe out the need for proteins injections.

Gene Therapy for Cancer:

Researchers are studying several ways to treat cancer using gene therapy. Some approach targets healthy cells to enhance their ability to fight cancer. Other approaches target cancer cells, to destroy them.

Gene Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy:

Muscular dystrophy is genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle wasting and weakness. According to new study by researchers Thomas Rando and Carmen Bertoni at Stanford University School of Medicine, a gene therapy might one day be useful for treating muscular dystrophy.

Hazards of Gene Therapy:

A patient who is receiving gene therapy may face number of potential problem. One of the major risks is the potential for infection or an immune system reaction. The viral vector, the means of delivering gene therapy to cell, may cause infection and/or inflammation of tissues, and artificial introduction of viruses into the body may initiate other disease process.

Another risk is that the new gene might be introduced in the wrong position in the DNA, possibly causing destructive genetic mutations to the DNA or even cancer. In addition, when the vectors are used to deliver DNA cells there is a slight chance that this DNA could unintentionally be introduced into the patients reproductive cells. If this happens, there is a possibility that the changes might be passed on to his/her offspring’s after the treatment.

More Articles :

Gene Therapy Hazards And Benifits