Towards gene therapy of cystic fibrosis.

J. Rosenecker, W. A. Schmalix, D. Schindelhauer, C. Plank, D. Reinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Numerous gene mutations associated with hereditary disorders have been identified. In cystic fibrosis the hereditary defect is attributed to mutations in one single gene, the gene coding for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Conventional therapies of CF have dramatically increased the life expectancy of afflicted individuals. However, the ultimate incurability of this disease calls for novel and better therapeutic strategies. As cystic fibrosis is believed to be caused by mutations in one single gene, it has appeared to be the ideal candidate for one of the most tempting approaches in clinical therapy, namely gene therapy. Laboratory protocols for the introduction of genes into various tissues have been developed and applied over the last 15 years. The ease of gene transfer under laboratory conditions gave rise to the hope that rapid advances in gene transfer protocols under clinical settings could be achieved as well. 20 clinical trials of gene therapy for cystic fibrosis have been initiated using viral and non-viral vectors for gene transfer (Marcel and David Grausz 1997). The outcome of the CF gene therapy studies as well as of those for other diseases have clearly demonstrated that gene transfer and gene therapy in humans is a much more complex and challenging task than originally thought. Still, the encouraging results achieved in animal models and the rapid progress in vector technology justify the hope that the novel genetic therapies will be applied successfully to the benefit of patients suffering from cystic fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Medical Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 23 Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


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