Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review
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Non-viral gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: progress and challenges.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is one of the most common lethal, hereditary diseases of childhood. Since the identification of the genetic basis of this disorder, there has been the hope that a cure would be developed in the form of gene therapy. This has yet to be realized, but many different gene therapy approaches have seen dramatic advances in recent years. Although viral-mediated gene therapy has been at the forefront of the field, several non-viral gene therapy approaches have been applied to animal and cellular models of DMD. These include plasmid-mediated gene delivery, antisense-mediated exon skipping, and oligonucleotide-mediated gene editing. In the past several years, non-viral gene therapy has moved from the laboratory to the clinic. Advances in vector design, formulation, and delivery are likely to lead to even more rapid advances in the coming decade. Given the relative simplicity, safety, and cost-effectiveness of these methodologies, non-viral gene therapy continues to have great promise for future gene therapy approaches to the treatment of DMD.

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