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Br J Dermatol. 2009 Jul;161(1):19-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2009.09243.x. Epub 2009 Apr 20.

Gene therapy of inherited skin adhesion disorders: a critical overview.

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1
Centre for Regenerative Medicine Stefano Ferrari, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena 41100, Italy. michele.deluca@unimore.it

Abstract

Gene therapy has the potential to treat devastating inherited diseases for which there is little hope of finding a conventional cure. These include lethal diseases, like immunodeficiencies or several metabolic disorders, or conditions associated with a relatively long life expectancy but poor quality of life and expensive and life-long symptomatic treatments, such as muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and thalassaemia. Skin adhesion defects belong to both groups. For the nonlethal forms, gene therapy, or transplantation of cultured skin derived from genetically corrected epidermal stem cells, represents a very attractive therapeutic option, and potentially a definitive treatment. Recent advances in gene transfer and stem cell culture technology are making this option closer than ever. This paper critically reviews the progress and prospects of gene therapy for epidermolysis bullosa, and the technical and nontechnical factors currently limiting its development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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