Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Researchers Identify Way to Increase Gene Therapy Success

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Scientists have found a way to keep the immune system from neutralizing a therapeutic virus before it can deliver its genetic payload.

In a study published recently in Molecular Therapy, researchers found that giving subjects a treatment to temporarily rid the body of antibodies provides the virus safe passage to targeted cells, allowing it to release a corrective or replacement gene to treat disease.

Gene therapy is among the most promising treatment options for such genetic disorders as muscular dystrophy, congenital blindness and hemophilia. Scientists also are investigating gene therapy as a cure for some cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, viral infections and other acquired illnesses. To get the therapeutic gene into cells, researchers have turned to viruses, which deliver their genetic material into cells as part of their normal replication process. Time and time again, these efforts have been thwarted by the body’s own immune system, which attacks the viral vector. The therapeutic genes aren’t delivered and disease rages on.

Now, a team led by Louis G. Chicoine, MD, Louise Rodino-Klapac, PhD, and Jerry R. Mendell, MD, principal investigators in the Center for Gene Therapy at Nationwide Children’s, has shown for the first time that using a process called plasmapheresis just before delivering a virus-packed gene therapy protects the virus long enough for it to enter the cell and deliver the gene.

Plasmapheresis, widely used to treat patients with autoimmune disorders, removes blood from the body, separates the plasma and cells, filters out antibodies, and returns the blood to the patient. The antibody loss is temporary; the body begins producing new antibodies within a few hours of the procedure.

In a study of a gene therapy designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), Drs. Chicoine and Rodino-Klapac used plasmapheresis in a large animal model, then injected a virus packed with a micro-dystrophin gene. When they examined the levels of micro-dystrophin gene expression in the animals, they found a 500 percent percent increase over gene expression in animals that did not receive plasmapheresis. Dr. Mendell, director of the Center for Gene Therapy, helped conceive of this treatment for DMD patients based on experience with autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis and inflammatory nerve diseases.

“Right now, gene therapy seems to work best in patients who have no antibodies for the virus being used to deliver the gene,” Dr. Mendell says. “That limits the number of patients who can benefit from gene therapy.”

Using plasmapheresis would increase the potential for gene therapy, Dr. Chicoine adds, by eliminating one obstacle of immune reaction.

“As gene therapy becomes more prevalent, patients may need to receive more than one treatment,” Dr. Rodino-Klapac says. “The problem is that when they get the first treatment, their body will develop antibodies to the virus used to deliver the gene. Using plasmapheresis on someone who previously received gene therapy could allow them to be treated again.”


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,600+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Benchtop Automation Trends
Gain a better understanding of current interest in and future deployment of benchtop automated systems.
Fix for 3-Billion-Year-Old Genetic Error
Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have developed a fix that allows RNA to accurately proofread for the first time.
Higher Frequency of Huntington's Disease Mutations Discovered
University of Aberdeen study shows that the gene change that causes Huntington's disease is much more common than previously thought.
Revealing the Genetic Causes of Bowel Cancer
A landmark study has given the most detailed picture yet of the genetics of bowel cancer — the UK's fourth most common cancer.
The Epigenetic Influences of Chronic Pain
Researchers at Drexel University College of Medicine are aiming to identify new molecular mechanisms involved in pain.
Fighting Resistant Blood Cancer Cells
Biologists present new findings on chronic myeloid leukemia and possible therapeutic approaches.
Tumor Cells Develop Predictable Characteristics
Scientists have discovered that cancer cells at the edge of a tumor that are close to the surrounding environment are predictably different from the cells within the interior of the tumor.
Mothers Obesity Could be Passed on in mtDNA
Obesity can predispose offspring in multiple generations to metabolic problems.
New Imaging Method Reveals Nanoscale Details about DNA
Enhancement to super-resolution microscopy shows orientation of individual molecules, providing a new window into DNA’s structure and dynamics.
Genetic Research Can Significantly Improve Drug Development
With drug development costs topping $1.2bn (£850 million) to get a single treatment to the point it can be sold and used in the clinic, could genetic analysis save hundreds of millions of dollars?
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,600+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!