Gene therapy is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid polymers into a patient's cells as a drug to treat disease.
The first attempt at modifying human DNA was performed in 1980 by Martin Cline, but the first successful and approved nuclear gene transfer in humans was performed in May 1989. The first therapeutic use of gene transfer as well as the first direct insertion of human DNA into the nuclear genome was performed by French Anderson in a trial starting in September 1990.
Between 1989 and February 2016, over 2,300 clinical trials had been conducted, more than half of them in phase I.
It should be noted that not all medical procedures that introduce alterations to a patient's genetic makeup can be considered gene therapy. Bone marrow transplantation and organ transplants in general have been found to introduce foreign DNA into patients. Gene therapy is defined by the precision of the procedure and the intention of direct therapeutic effects.
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https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijad/2011/517160/ tarja malm, jari koistinaho, and katja kanninen, “utilization of appswe/ps1de9 transgenic mice in research of alzheimer's disease: focus on gene therapy and cell-based therapy applications,” international journal of alzheimer’s disease, vol. 2011, article id 517160, 8 pages, 2011. Doi:10.4061/2011/517160