Applications of Somatic Cell Therapy

Currently, more than 400 human somatic cell gene therapy protocols are being tested. Most of these involve the use of genetically modified cells to treat noninherited diseases. For example, normal copies of the p53 tumor suppressor gene are inserted into lung tumors to halt tumor progression, and genetically modified cells have been used to create new coronary vessels in patients with coronary heart disease. Success has also been achieved in the treatment of hereditary disease (most notably, the recent successful treatment of X-linked severe combined immune deficiency; see Clinical Correlate).

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