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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2008 Dec;8(12):1855-66. doi: 10.1517/14712590802496977 .

Gene therapy for pain.

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  • Jain PharmaBiotech, Blaesiring 7, CH-4057, Basel, Switzerland.



Management of chronic pain remains a challenge in spite of the numerous drugs either approved or still in development. Apart from inadequacy of relief, there are concerns about adverse effects and addiction in the case of drugs such as opioids. Gene therapy is being investigated for improving management of pain.


To addresses the rationale of gene therapy for treatment of pain and its advantages over drugs. The prospects of translation of these techniques from experimental animals to clinical use are discussed.


The review is based on the available literature and is confined to experimental work, as there are no approved therapies in this category.


A number of promising gene therapies as well as antisense- and RNA interference-based approaches have been identified. These provide targeted approaches to delivery of antinociceptive molecules or interruption of pain pathways without subjecting the patient to systemic toxicity of drugs. Some of these approaches are aimed at correcting the underlying pathology of the diseases (e.g., treating degenerative joint diseases causing pain). Management of neuropathic pain is a challenge and a number of studies are addressing it. Overall the future of gene therapy for pain is promising.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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