Correction of Monogenic and Common Retinal Disorders with Gene Therapy
The past decade has seen major advances in gene-based therapies, many of which show promise for translation to human disease. At the forefront of research in this field is ocular disease, as the eye lends itself to gene-based interventions due to its accessibility, relatively immune-privileged status, and ability to be non-invasively monitored. A landmark study in 2001 demonstrating successful gene therapy in a large-animal model for Leber congenital amaurosis set the stage for translation of these strategies from the bench to the bedside. Multiple clinical trials have since initiated for various retinal diseases, and further improvements in gene therapy techniques have engendered optimism for alleviating inherited blinding disorders. This article provides an overview of gene-based strategies for retinal disease, current clinical trials that engage these strategies, and the latest techniques in genome engineering, which could serve as the next frontline of therapeutic interventions.
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