Diseases of the eye are an excellent target for gene therapy because the ocular environment is readily accessible, relatively easy to monitor, and sequestered from the rest of the body, new research has suggested.
According to two reports published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal, there are exciting opportunities for advancement in the field of eye therapy at the moment.
The first study, Gene Transfer for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration by Peter Campochiaro, indicates that there is the potential for long-term delivery of proteins to control abnormal growth of blood vessels.
Meanwhile, the study Surgical Approaches to Gene and Stem Cell Therapy for Retinal Disease by Stout and Francis highlights the many factors that contribute to the successful application of gene therapy to treat ocular diseases.
It is hoped that further research based on the findings will lead to the formulation and rollout of targeted ocular gene therapies in the future.
Meanwhile, a recent study by Dr Richard Lang, director of the Visual Systems Group in the Division of Ophthalmology at Cincinnati Children"s Hospital Medical Center, showed that treatment for retinal damage could even be used to target cancer.
by Emily Tait