Gene therapy of the rheumatic diseases: 1998 to 2008

Christopher H. Evans, Steven C. Ghivizzani, Paul D. Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the decade since the launch of Arthritis Research, the application of gene therapy to the rheumatic diseases has experienced the same vicissitudes as the field of gene therapy as a whole. There have been conceptual and technological advances and an increase in the number of clinical trials. However, funding has been unreliable and a small number of high-profile deaths in human trials, including one in an arthritis gene therapy trial, have provided ammunition to skeptics. Nevertheless, steady progress has been made in a number of applications, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, Sjögren syndrome, and lupus. Clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis have progressed to phase II and have provided the first glimpses of possible efficacy. Two phase I protocols for osteoarthritis are under way. Proof of principle has been demonstrated in animal models of Sjögren syndrome and lupus. For certain indications, the major technological barriers to the development of genetic therapies seem to have been largely overcome. The translational research necessary to turn these advances into effective genetic medicines requires sustained funding and continuity of effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number209
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 30 2009

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