Somatic gene therapy is a way to prevent disease without need for a cure. Today, more than 2,600 gene therapy clinical trials are ongoing or have been completed worldwide. Germinal gene therapy aims to place corrected cells inside the germ line (e.g., cells of the ovary or testis). Somatic gene therapy is seen as a relatively unproblematic method from the ethical (not medico-technical) point of view, since the transferred genes are not inherited by the descendent of the treated individual. 2006: Lentivirus is used for the treatment of HIV. Somatic gene therapy has not yet been tested on humans. Somatic Gene Therapy. Gene therapy is a type of treatment designed to modify the expression of an individual’s genes or to correct abnormal genes to treat a disease. 2010: beta-thalassemia major child was successfully treated with gene therapy. From: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001. Genetic disease research is making important advancements in our understanding of many genetic diseases and how they can be treated, including cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, and spinal muscular atrophy. Thecandi-date disorders for this type of treatment must meet the following criteria: (i) the disorder must have a severe and predictable phenotype, (ii) the defective gene … Somatic cells cured by gene therapy may reverse the symptoms of disease in the treated individual, but the modification is not passed on to the next generation. Criteria for somatic gene therapy There are a large number of genetic diseases that could potentially be treated by somatic gene therapy. While the disease severity score showed the expected worsening in both control groups (scores 1.15 [± 0.25] and 1.20 [± 0.17], respectively, by the end of the observation period), disease progression was completely stopped in the group treated by RDD gene therapy (score 0.56 [± 0.25]; P < 0.01 compared with the pVAX-mock control group; Figure Figure3D). Two diseases that scientists are currently working on are cystic fibrosis and retinitis pigmentosa. 2007: Gene therapy trial has begun for inherited retinal disease. R. Michael Blaese, W. French Anderson and Kenneth Culver at a press conference announcing the start of the first gene therapy trial for treating children with severe combined immunodeficiency, 13 September 1990. Gene-transfer protocols have been approved for human use in inherited diseases, cancer and acquired disorders. Scientists are currently doing research to find out what diseases could be prevented by somatic gene therapy. Related terms: Enzyme; Protein; DNA The summarised history of the gene therapy is given below, 2006: Two patients were treated for X linked myeloid cell defect using gene therapy. What research is being done in genetic diseases? Although the results of these trials to date have been somewhat disappointing, human somatic cell gene therapy promises to be an effective addition to the arsenal of approaches to the therapy of many human diseases in the 21st century if not sooner. 3 D). The diseases and disorders that have been successfully treated by gene therapy so far include immune deficiencies—Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) and Adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency, Hereditary blindness, Hemophilia, beta-Thalassemia, Fat metabolism disorder, several types of cancer—melanoma, leukemia, and Parkinson’s disease.