Viral gene therapy

Converting a virus into a vector the viral life cycle can be divided into two temporally distinct phases: infection and replication. For gene therapy to be successful, an appropriate amount of a therapeutic gene must be delivered into the target tissue without substantial toxicity. Each viral vector system is characterized by an inherent set of properties that affect its suitability for specific gene therapy applications. For some disorders, long term expression from a relatively small proportion of cells would be sufficient (for example, genetic disorders), whereas other pathologies might require high, but transient, gene expression. For example, gene therapies designed to interfere with a viral infectious process or inhibit the growth of cancer cells by reconstitution of inactivated tumor suppressor genes may require gene transfer into a large fraction of the abnormal cells.

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