From Human Genomic Project To Gene Therapy

Most of the prescription drugs today give a short-term relief to patients thereby increasing the odds for patients to be addicted to prescription drugs. In addition, people who die from cocaine, heroin, automobile accident, diabetic and kidney disease are significantly lower than patients that die from FDA approved drugs (Barlett & Steele, 2011). Therefore, with a good understanding of the complexity of the human genome and its interactions with environmental factors to disease penetrance is the key to preventing or curing a disease. However, in the case where medical remedy is unattainable or far-fetched, lifestyle changes is a very crucial alternative (Hunter, 2005). Human Genomic project database will undeniably give medical practitioners a prospective view rather than a retrospective view in the process of individualizing medical care and to proactively counsel and inform individuals with a predisposed disease on the alternative lifestyle and risk management to reduce or prevent the disease penetrance (Hunter, D. 2005). For this reasons, the human genome project will become a norm that agrees with the saying “prevention is better than a cure”. Furthermore, with Human genomic tool and genetic test, diseases from autosomal dominant such as Marfan syndrome, autosomal recessive disease like Cystic fibrosis or X-linked recessive Hemophilia disorder could be cured or prevented (Kirk, 2005).

Hypothetically, in the event that after receiving a genetic test, an individual had 85% chances of having a colorectal cancer in the future may encourage preventative and proactive options for the disease such as avoiding red meat (red meat may elevate the incipience of the disease), could be a vital preventative option to take. By getting a genetic test information or knowing the probability of ones predisposition to a condition may encourage a healthy lifestyle measure such as exercise which may also change the outcome of the potential disease. Prophylaxis measures are very important because there are inherent multiplicative interactions between genes and environmental factors that affect disease manifestation (Hunter, 2005).

Although there is a high level of hope that the human genome project will enhance genetic therapy and cure for diseases; there are ethical concerns and possible dangers with gene-therapy, one of which involves the insertion of genes in human cells. Without complete knowledge of all the functions of approximately 25000 genes in a cell and subsequent protein interactions, there will be more prevailing and imminent danger with gene therapy technology (Rey, 2001). In addition, it is difficult to apply relevant trials in animal with a gene therapy technique because animal cohorts must have the condition in other to assess the safety and efficacy of the gene therapy in question (Rey, C. 2001). Hence, what would be the ethical challenge to induce a down syndrome condition in primates to achieve a trial purpose in human? How reliable is a gene-therapy disease in animal to its treatment in human? These are some of the complex challenges among many that face gene therapy clinical trials.


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