POTENTIAL USES OF GENE THERAPY

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The medical and general therapeutic effects of gene therapy technologies as it relates to the delivery of desired genes or DNA to the tissues/cells of genetic disease patients may well be a new frontier for the management of other related diseases as well as some other infectious diseases. Gene therapy may be used to restore the health of a sick patient undergoing particular clinical condition especially genetic diseases since it sees to the delivery of desired genes which are supposed to repair defective genes in the recipient host.  Gene therapy techniques have some specific functions as follows:

  • Gene therapy techniques replace defective or missing genes in genetic disorder patients through the delivery of therapeutic DNA or genes.
  • The desired therapeutic DNA delivered or inserted into the tissue/cells of the host stimulates the development of new tissues that replaces the defective ones.
  • Gene therapy technologies deliver therapeutic genes that destroy cancerous cells and/or tumours in the body of the recipient host.
  • Therapeutic DNA inserted into host cells also help to spur the healing process of damaged tissues.
  • The use of gene therapy techniques in the management or treatment of cancer can also be used to make cancer cells to regress back to normal cells.
  • Of most importance is the fact that gene therapy could be used in the near future to improve the process of immunization/vaccination through the specific and targeted delivery of microbial genes (especially those of viruses, bacteria and fungi) that will help to ameliorate some of the infectious diseases of man.

Further reading

Cooper G.M and Hausman R.E (2004). The cell: A Molecular Approach. Third edition. ASM Press.

Das H.K (2010). Textbook of Biotechnology. Fourth edition. Wiley edition. Wiley India Pvt, Ltd, New Delhi, India.

Davis J.M (2002). Basic Cell Culture, A Practical Approach. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 

Mather J and Barnes D (1998). Animal cell culture methods, Methods in cell biology. 2rd eds, Academic press, San Diego.

Noguchi P (2003).  Risks and benefits of gene therapy.  N  Engl J Med, 348:193-194.

Sambrook, J., Russell, D.W. (2001). Molecular Cloning: a Laboratory Manual, 3rd edn. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York.

Tamarin Robert H (2002). Principles of Genetics. Seventh edition. Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Co Ltd, Delhi.     

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