Gene Therapy

Claude Bagnis and Patrice Mannoni, Gene Therapy Center, Institut Paoli-Calmettes, Marseille, France

Copyright © 1998 Elsevier Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Regarding possible relationships between genetic dysfunctions and pathologies, the goal of gene therapy is to promote a therapeutic activity by transferring new genetic information either into affected cells or tissues, or into accessory cells. Treatment of inherited pathologies or some acquired diseases, such as cancers, degenerative syndromes or viral infections, could be envisaged with this new strategy (Figure 1).

Gene therapy and immunology are highly interactive fields. First, genetic mutations responsible for some immune deficiencies or disorders have now been well characterized and could benefit from the use of a therapeutic gene transfer. Second, in patients with cancers, manipulation of tumor cells and/or immunocompetent cells in order to induce immuno-genicity and trigger or increase an immune response could be a way to control proliferation of malignant cells.

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