Gene therapy holds promise for arthritis

These data demonstrate that it is possible to transfer genes to human joints ... in a safe and acceptable manner," the research team, headed by Christopher H. Evans, an orthopaedic surgeon at Harvard Medical School, said in the online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The safety of gene therapy - using a virus or other vector to insert a gene into cells to help correct a disease - has been called into question in recent years due to high-profile cases involving patient deaths or injuries. In the current study the researchers used a vector that was linked to the death of three boys in another case and were keenly aware of the safety concerns surrounding this procedure. They decided to extend their follow-up of patients who received the therapy to five years to minimize the possibility of undetected dangerous side effects. "Because of the critical importance of safety in the application of gene therapy to non-lethal diseases, we delayed publication of these data until a five-year period had passed without clinical or molecular evidence of side-effects," the team wrote

Gene therapy holds promise for arthritis : Sports News

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