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How to improve gene therapy as a potential way to treat cancer patients

  • Researcher: Professor Ian Alexander
  • Institution: Children's Medical Research Institute
  • Award Amount: £76,403 for 1 year from June 2011
  • Cancer Type: Hodgkins Disease
How to improve gene therapy as a potential way to treat cancer patients

Gene therapy is a technique used for correcting defective genes responsible for diseases like cancer. A normal gene is inserted to replace the defective gene or sometimes the defective gene can be turned off. Although the idea of gene therapy holds great promise and has been successfully used to cure some diseases, it is still under research to make sure it will be safe and effective. The technique itself can introduce dangerous gene alterations or there is a chance that each time the treated cells divide, new alterations can occur. Professor Alexander is investigating the relationship between how often a cell divides and the number of genetic alterations that occur. He hopes that his research could help improve the safety of gene therapy for use in the future.

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