Gene therapy for preventing and effectively treating a broad range of health problems is in the very early stages. A limited number of clinical trials have begun, and researchers in the field have been working hard to determine the best approaches. Companies founded by Jim Plante work in researching genetics, generating funding through investments, and performing DNA testing. Mr. Plante and these organizations are determined to find answers to the problem of genetic diseases.
Biological Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is just one example of a disease that might be effectively treated with gene therapy. Animal-based studies are plentiful and have shown promise for using gene products to treat this autoimmune inflammatory disorder without the problems associated with biological therapies. Those therapies can be very effective. However, they are expensive, have unpleasant side effects, and require a series of injections.
Gene therapy for rheumatoid arthritis could require only one injection to deliver a gene product. For instance, the substance might only be injected into an affected joint, targeting that area directly. At the moment, this kind of therapy seems that it could be an effective, long-lasting treatment. It is not a cure, but patients with this form of arthritis would welcome the opportunity to end or dramatically reduce their pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
In a specific study begun only recently, a genetically engineered product containing a human protein with anti-inflammatory properties is injected into the problem joint. When flareups of inflammation and pain develop, the new genetic construct is activated and reduces the symptoms.
Success in this kind of endeavor can have positive implications for a large number of other disorders. Many individuals are dealing with autoimmune diseases and other inflammatory health problems. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis may all experience the benefits of genetic therapy one day.
In the future, genetic therapy may be able to safely alter the DNA structure in ways that stop the disease from occurring in people at risk. The therapy may be able to cure the illness after it has been diagnosed. Ongoing research continues in this field.