A REVIEW ARTICLE ON GENE THERAPY
Advances in biotechnology have brought gene therapy to the forefront of medical research. Gene therapy can be broadly defined as the transfer of genetic material to cure a disease or at least to improve the clinical status of a patient. One of the basic concepts of gene therapy is to transform viruses into genetic shuttles, which will deliver the gene of interest into the target cells. Safe methods have been devised to do this, using several viral and non-viral vectors. Two main approaches emerged: in vivo modification and ex vivo modification. Retrovirus, adenovirus, adeno-associated virus are suitable for gene therapeutic approaches which are based on permanent expression of the therapeutic gene. Non-viral vectors are far less efficient than viral vectors, but they have advantages due to their low immunogenicity and their large capacity for therapeutic DNA. Gene transfer protocols have been approved for human use in inherited diseases, cancers and acquired disorders.
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