Send to

Choose Destination
J Assoc Physicians India. 2013 Feb;61(2):127-33.

Human gene therapy: a brief overview of the genetic revolution.

Author information

Dept. of Biochemistry, Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar 751 003, Orissa.


Advances in biotechnology have brought gene therapy to the forefront of medical research. The prelude to successful gene therapy i.e. the efficient transfer and expression of a variety of human gene into target cells has already been accomplished in several systems. Safe methods have been devised to do this, using several viral and no-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. To improve the function of non-viral vectors, the addition of viral functions such as receptor mediated uptake and nuclear translocation of DNA may finally lead to the development of an artificial virus. Gene transfer protocols have been approved for human use in inherited diseases, cancers and acquired disorders. In 1990, the first successful clinical trial of gene therapy was initiated for adenosine deaminase deficiency. Since then, the number of clinical protocols initiated worldwide has increased exponentially. Although preliminary results of these trials are somewhat disappointing, but human gene therapy dreams of treating diseases by replacing or supplementing the product of defective or introducing novel therapeutic genes. So definitely human gene therapy is an effective addition to the arsenal of approaches to many human therapies in the 21st century.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center