Combining Stem Cells And Gene Therapy

EurekAlert outlines a potential class of treatment for genetic diseases that would combine the regenerative properties of stem cells with gene therapy. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a good testbed for this approach, as its symptoms are linked to a genetic defect in a relatively straightforward way: "[researchers] demonstrate for the first time that human bone marrow-derived adult stem cells can be coaxed to differentiate into airway epithelial cells and that encoding these cells with the gene that is defective in CF restores an important cellular function essential for keeping the airways clear of mucus and air-borne irritants." This is very promising work for the future treatment of a wide range of genetic conditions.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-12/uopm-csc121704.php

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