Gene therapy is a relatively new topic for investigation and implementation in medical practice. Its main idea is to modify gene expressions and alter biological properties (Belete, 2021). Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is one such option to treat cancer. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA, 2017) approved this gene therapy method to treat adults with specific lymphoma types (aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, B-cell lymphoma, refractory follicular lymphoma, and replace multiple myeloma). Still, such limitations as associated toxicities, limited efficacy against large tumors, and resistance to some antigens cannot be ignored (Sterner & Sterner, 2021). The government and international organizations do not take responsibility for approving or disproving this technique; thus, only FDA approval is required.
Gene therapy helps cancer patients strengthen their bodies, replace faulty genes with new ones, and fight disease. Many ethical questions arise around this topic because people want to know if it is good or bad to use gene modifications, what alternatives emerge, and what is its true cost. One of the major ethical concerns touches upon the responsibilities of various stakeholders, including decision-makers, researchers, policymakers, and founders (Riva & Petrini, 2019). Although the FDA approves this practice, many other people make their contributions, and there has to be a plan to follow all activities, record changes, and examine the results.
In the middle of the 1900s, scientists succeeded in their first genome projects and the incorporation of mammal genetic functions. In the 1960s, bone marrow was transplanted to treat anemia. The discovery of retroviruses supported the creation of gene therapy in the 1980s when new vectors proved to have low risks of disease (Goswami et al., 2019). This method gave people hope that cancer could be treated if one wrong gene was replaced with a good one. The such replacement does not prevent the disease, but it is created to fight cancer and enhance proper functioning.
Belete, T. M. (2021). The current status of gene therapy for the treatment of cancer. Biologics: Targets and Therapy, 2021, 67-77. Web.
Goswami, R., Subramanian, G., Silayeva, L., Newkirk, I., Doctor, D., Chawla, K., Chattopadhyay, S., Chandra, D., Chilukuri, N., & Betapudi, V. (2019). Gene therapy leaves a vicious cycle. Frontiers in Oncology, 9. Web.
Riva, L. & Petrini, C. (2019). A few ethical issues in translational research for gene and cell therapy. Journal of Translational Medicine, 17. Web.
Sterner, R. C., & Sterner, R. M. (2021). CAR-T cell therapy: Current limitations and potential strategies. Blood Cancer Journal, 11(4). Web.
U. S. Food & Drug Administration. (2017). FDA approves CAR-T cell therapy to treat adults with certain types of large B-cell lymphoma. FDA. Web.