The Pros and Cons of Gene Therapy

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Gene therapy is deemed to be the ‘use of genes as medicine’. “Gene therapy is a form of therapy that involves inserting one or more corrective genes that have been designed in the laboratory, into the genetic material of a patient's cells to cure a genetic disease by replacing the missing or malfunctioning genes” (Mandal). There are two types of gene therapy, which are in vitro gene therapy, which takes place outside the body and in vivo therapy, which takes place inside the body. Both types are very time-consuming processes containing many detailed steps that can easily go wrong. First is in vitro or ex vivo gene therapy, which again is outside the body. In this technique, cells are surgically taken out from the tissue area that is impacted. The next step is that the corrective DNA or genes that will be used to treat the disease are spliced or injected into the cells, and then the cells are left to be cultured. The final step is that the new tissues are put back into the body in the area, which was affected. The use of bone marrow cells as recipients of the gene is very common due to the fact that they create the blood that will eventually be circulated throughout the body (Oracle ThinkQuest). Next, is the process of the in vivo gene therapy technique, where the therapeutic DNA is injected into the body at once. Most of the time, a gene directly inserted into a cell doesn’t function very well, hence a genetically engineered vector or carrier is used to transport and
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