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Year : 1996  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 205-219

Gene therapy: current status and future

Correspondence Address:
Roy Vandana

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Gene therapy is a novel method of treating some of the hitherto untreatable diseases. It involves the introduction of a functional gene to replace the activity of a resident defective gene so that biologically active proteins can be synthesized within the cells whose function is to be altered. Introduced as a concept about 2 decades ago it has become a reality today. A variety of DNA delivery systems have been developed involving biological, physical and chemical agents. Gene therapy was initially thought to be a treatment modality for inherited single gene defects however it has also found applications in acquired diseases. It's use is being studied in the treatment of cancer, immunodeficiency diseases, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological disorders; hormones and blood factors deficiencies. It is also being developed as a "gene" vaccine against influenza and malaria. Recently attempts have been made for its use in treatment of HIV infection. Gene therapy, although still in the infant stages of development offers the possibility for major advances in prevention and treatment of these diseases. Presently the clinical application of gene therapy is limited by the availability of suitable gene transfer methodology. This review describes some of these aspects of this new therapeutic modality.


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