Definition - What does Gene Therapy mean?
Gene therapy is an experimental treatment that involves altering the genes in the body to avoid or cure genetic disorders, diseases, or conditions. As of August 2016 gene therapy is still in the clinical trial phase, used only on diseases with no known cure. However, various implementations of gene therapy has shown promise in treating infertility.
FertilitySmarts explains Gene Therapy
A gene is the most basic component of heredity; it is the traits passed on from parents to child. Genes are comprised of DNA, which is the code that determines a majority of how the body grows and thrives. A genetic disorder is any condition caused by an abnormality in the gene’s DNA.
Gene therapy is based on the idea that removing the abnormality and replacing it with a healthy substitute, the condition caused by the abnormality would be eliminated from the body. However, along with replacement, there are a variety of approaches being tested, including inactivating a dysfunctional or mutated gene, or introducing a unique gene to the body to assist in fighting disease.
As of August 2016, the emerging treatment has proven promising in treating male infertility. Research on gene therapy and embryos continues to be a leading field.