Review

Gene therapy comes of age

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Science  12 Jan 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6372, eaan4672
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4672

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Gene therapy: The power of persistence

Nearly 50 years after the concept was first proposed, gene therapy is now considered a promising treatment option for several human diseases. The path to success has been long and tortuous. Serious adverse effects were encountered in early clinical studies, but this fueled basic research that led to safer and more efficient gene transfer vectors. Gene therapy in various forms has produced clinical benefits in patients with blindness, neuromuscular disease, hemophilia, immunodeficiencies, and cancer. Dunbar et al. review the pioneering work that led the gene therapy field to its current state, describe gene-editing technologies that are expected to play a major role in the field's future, and discuss practical challenges in getting these therapies to patients who need them.

Science, this issue p. eaan4672