In the United States, only somatic cell gene therapy
has been approved for human clinical trials.
Somatic cell gene therapy, as it is called, is an application of recombinant DNA technology.
So the challenge is to apply current statutory authority to somatic cell gene therapy and apply it just as you would with antibiotics.
Reason: Why haven't researchers been more successful in using somatic cell gene therapy - replacing defective genes in a patient's tissues with normal versions - to cure genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis?
Silver: Somatic cell gene therapy is very difficult to do.
In general, the ethical analysis of somatic cell gene therapy
follows in broad outline an analysis similar to that of the introduction of any new medical therapy.
Indeed, what is known as somatic cell gene therapy is becoming a standard method for treating both kinds of diseases.
Clinical trials using human patients have demonstrated the feasibility of somatic cell gene therapy in humans, successfully correcting genetic defects in a large number of cell types.
He notes the difference in attitude "toward negative and positive forms of engineering" and states that the former "and less dubious procedure is sometimes referred to as somatic cell gene therapy
We analyzed the risk/benefit determination for somatic cell gene therapy and proposed three questions that need to have been answered from prior animal experimentation: Can the new gene be inserted stably into the correct target cells?
But successful somatic cell gene therapy also opens the door for enhancement genetic engineering, that is, for supplying a specific characteristic that individuals might want for themselves (somatic cell engineering) or their children (germline engineering) which would not involve the treatment of a disease.
One day, somatic cell gene therapy
also may help those with cancers that don't respond to traditional methods.