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Method to Prevent Cell Death Using Gene Therapy


Stanford Reference:

94-007


Abstract


Researchers at Stanford University have developed a method for introducing the bcl-2 gene into patients via gene therapy to prevent apoptosis, or programmed cell death. This type of therapy may be useful in treating cystic fibrosis and reducing the side effects of radiation or chemotherapy.

In cystic fibrosis (CF) patients, this method could be used to prevent neutrophils from dying and releasing their genetic materials into the mucous of the lungs. Less DNA in the lung mucous reduces viscosity and the opportunity for infection.

Radiation treatment and chemotherapy usually lead to a compromised immune system due to the death of hematopoietic stem cells, leading to neutropenia. The introduction of bcl-2 in these stem cells prevents cell death and helps maintain these cells at a healthy level, allowing patients to continue necessary treatments.
bcl-2 gene therapy can be reversed at the conclusion of treatment.

Stage of Research
This method has been used successfully to protect transgenic mice from the effects of radiation.


Applications


  • Therapy for cystic fibrosis - prevents neutrophils from dying and releasing their genetic material into the mucous of the lungs, reducing viscosity of mucous and reducing chances for infection
  • Preventing neutropenia - protects hematopoietic cells from cell death induced by radiation and/or chemotherapy, ensuring that treatment can continue uninterrupted, leading to improved patient outcomes

Advantages


  • Prevents infection - keeps the lungs of CF patients from developing the viscous secretions that breed infection
  • Uninterrupted radiation/chemotherapy treatments - maintains leukocyte levels so therapy can continue, uninterrupted for better patient outcomes
  • Reversible - a mechanism to remove the bcl-2 gene can be introduced when therapy is complete

Publications



Innovators & Portfolio



Date Released

 10/3/2012
 

Licensing Contact


Gregg Kyle, Senior Licensing Associate
gregg.kyle@stanford.edu
+1-650-725-3476 (Direct)

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Related Keywords


cystic fibrosis   therapeutic: gene therapy   gene therapy   apoptosis    therapeutic: apoptosis   radiation oncology   radiation therapy   neutropenia   iFarm   
 

   

  

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