Should gene therapy be used to treat diseases?
Although gene therapy is a promising treatment option for a number of diseases (including inherited disorders, some types of cancer, and certain viral infections), the technique remains risky and is still under study to make sure that it will be safe and effective.
What are some examples of gene therapy?
Gene therapy is the introduction of genes into existing cells to prevent or cure a wide range of diseases. For example, suppose a brain tumor is forming by rapidly dividing cancer cells. The reason this tumor is forming is due to some defective or mutated gene.
Can genetic diseases be cured?
Many genetic disorders result from gene changes that are present in essentially every cell in the body. As a result, these disorders often affect many body systems, and most cannot be cured. However, approaches may be available to treat or manage some of the associated signs and symptoms.
What are the risks of gene therapy?
Some gene therapy research indicates gene therapy may worsen symptoms or cause them to last longer. Additionally, complications of certain gene therapies may include cancer, toxicity and inflammation.