What is the Main Difference Between Cell Therapy and Gene Therapy?
There is confusion between these 2 types of therapies. Gene therapy generally refers to the delivery of a normal or corrective gene to replace or take over the abnormal gene in a cell affected by a genetic disease. For example, diseases like Sickle Cell Anemia and Cystic Fibrosis are genetic diseases in which one specific gene is mutated and fails to produce a protein that is critical to maintaining normal cell function. The rationale for gene therapy is to deliver a normal gene to the targeted cell and correct the defective gene, which results in the production of a normal protein that restores normal cellular function. Thus, gene therapies are generally restricted to genetic diseases.
In contrast, a cell therapy involves transplanting a normal cell to replace or repair damaged organ cells regardless of whether the disease is caused by genetic or non-genetic disorders. Thus, cell therapy is not restricted to genetic diseases.
The Institute has decided to focus on cell therapies rather than on gene therapies because we feel that it offers broader and more cost-effective treatment solutions. See other related links to learn about our decision.