02-03-2013, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Cephalic Trauma
No, I'm arguing the accuracy of your description. Science has been overcoming people like me? What? I'm a medical student.
A brief history in genetic therapy from a lecture series presented by a well-published MD/PhD:
Researchers foresaw manipulations of chromosomes and genes for "desired" genes
Must be cautious to control genes until we completely understand effects
Began experimentation on humans
Tried treating people with arginemia virus that would cause reduction of arginine in blood
Aftermath of ethical issues caused pessimism over gene therapy
Tried to treat patients with beta-thalessemia without IRB approval
Lead to resignation and penalties to UCLA
Infused gene into bone marrow cells
Could put cells into subjects, but not at a high enough level to be effective
Another experiment killed a patient because of serious problems with experimental setup
Successful treatments of melanoma, color blindness in squirrel monkeys, partial vision to blind, CLL (leukemia)
Yes, we have come a long way. But we've tried manipulating genes as a treatment for a while now, with many obstacles. These are the obstacles I have been referring to.
Barriers to Gene Therapy
1. Therapy must be applied frequently due to poor half-life
2. Viral vectors used to apply treatment can cause immune response
3. Unintended cosequences, such as inflammatory responses
4. Target other tissues that arenít desired
5. Poor efficiency- even if they target the appropriate tissue, doesnít always work well
There's your contribution.
OK. That's a start. Now tell us why those barriers to gene therapy might still be present in 200 or so years. Why do you think those things are not able to be overcome?