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Stem cell and gene therapy

Stem cell and gene therapy

Stem cell and gene therapy abroad can help locate specialist treatment centres overseas. Gene therapy is an experimental but rapidly growing field of medicine in which genes are introduced into the body to treat disease. Genes, which are carried on chromosomes, control heredity and provide the basic biological code for determining a cell's specific function. Gene therapy aims to correct defective genes responsible for disease development.

There are several ways in which gene therapy takes place; the most common is where a normal gene is inserted to replace a non-functional gene. Other approaches include where abnormal genes are swapped for a normal gene through homologous recombination, the normal gene can repair the abnormal gene through selective reverse mutation, or the regulation of a particular gene can be altered.

Common stem cell and gene therapy procedures

Common treatment types in gene therapy are the use of stem cells in bone marrow transplants, used to treat cancer. There is also somatic gene therapy, which introduces genes at the tissue or cellular level to treat a specific individual; germ-line gene therapy (where genes are inserted into the reproductive system to prevent heredity disease being passed on) was originally used to prevent the passing of cystic fibrosis and Huntington's disease. The scope of gene therapy holds potential to treat cancer, arthritis and infectious disease.

Destinations

For a full list of available destinations for gene therapy, please refer to the search box to the right.

Useful links

Find more in-depth information on stem cell and gene therapy at:

The American Society of Gene Therapy - www.asgt.org

British Society for Gene Therapy - www.bsgt.org

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Page last updated: Monday, 23rd November 2009