Is Gene Therapy The Cancer Treatment Of The Future? Scientists Think So

Is Gene Therapy The Cancer Treatment Of The Future? Scientists Think So

There are an increasing number of opportunities available as a direct result of the exponential growth in the potential of biological research. Recent scientific investigations have proven that study in genetics may lead to outcomes that are revolutionary.  A study report that was published in the issue of Science Magazine that was released on the 18th of August indicated that inducing genetic alterations in plants may assist modify the process of photosynthesis, and that this may even create a leeway for a second Green Revolution.

Dr. Stephen Lang and his colleagues at the University of Illinois were able to influence the photosynthetic mechanism of certain soyabean plants. It was observed that the yields of the majority of the plants improved by 20%, while the yield of one plant showed an increase of 33%. Research along these lines will also be conducted with wheat and rice.

In addition to this, genetic modifications that were generated in individuals who were suffering from severe and chronic diseases that ultimately led to death have also given outstanding outcomes. These patients had lost their lives as a consequence of their illnesses. A variety of gene treatments that have already been created and others that are on the verge of being released are beneficial in treating conditions such as sickle cell anemia, spinal muscular atrophy, haemophilia, and blood cancer.

The fact that such breakthrough genetic treatments have brought with them a fresh light of hope connected to the healing of such terminal conditions is not going to change the fact that the therapy might be prohibitively expensive. Despite this, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that innovative treatments and medications, which initially had a high price tag, have seen significant price reductions over time. According to the Boston Counseling Group, the monoclonal anti-body therapy used to be quite pricey when it was first introduced, but after 10 years, its prices had decreased by a factor of fifty.

In 2010, authorities had only given their stamp of approval to a single gene therapy treatment focused at healing rare disorders. In addition, the month of August of this year saw the approval of two different treatments for thalassemia and haemophilia, both of which are blood-related diseases. There are a total of 1,369 organizations working on treatments and cures for various conditions, as stated by the Regenerative Medicine Alliance, an industry body that represents the cell and gene therapy industry. There are now around 2000 clinical studies being conducted.

According to the scientists working at Cambridge’s Bio-medical Innovation Centre, there may be between forty and fifty innovative gene treatments that get regulatory clearance by the year 2030. Gene therapy is not without its own unique risks, despite all of the benefits it offers. According to the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, two youngsters who were receiving gene therapy to treat spinal muscular atrophy tragically passed away as a result of the treatment. During the course of the trial, there were a number of more fatalities that came to light. The majority of gene treatments are prohibitively expensive due to the significant sums of money that are required for the research and testing phases of their development.

For instance, the gene therapy developed by Roche Pharmaceuticals to treat blindness and referred to as Luxturna costs 3.40 crore rupees for one eye. The treatment for spinal muscular atrophy offered by Novartis, on the other hand, costs 16 crore rupees.

There is still a long journey to go until gene treatments are not only completely successful, but also free from hazards like the loss of life during treatment. This is the current state of the advancement of scientific study and technology. Another issue that has to be addressed is the very high prices, which need to be lowered in order to make such treatments more accessible to the majority of people throughout the world and to make them more reasonable for most people.


Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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