Cell and gene therapies: improving and extending quality of life for seniors

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Chris Mason, Emily J Culme-Seymour & Geoff MacKay


Cell and gene therapy represents a new paradigm in human healthcare with the ability to resolve unmet medical needs by directly targeting the underlying cause of disease. One of the major social drivers in the 21st century is to address the medical needs of the aging population. Today in the USA, UK, and Japan, people over the age of 65 make up 14%, 18% and 26% of the population, respectively [1]. However, over the coming decades these proportions will dramatically rise due to a combination of longer life spans and aging baby boomers. With increasing age comes increasing health challenges. Biological aging reduces the ability of organs, tissues and cells to respond effectively to everyday wear-and-tear, trauma, disease and cancer. “Once-and-done” cell and gene therapies with their potential to transform patients’ lives (and, in some cases, even provide a cure) are a major step-change from the traditional pharmaceutical “a-pill-a-day-for-life” approach, which at best only manages disease and related symptoms. So what do cell and gene therapies potentially offer seniors to enable a sustained quality of life? This editorial highlights cell and gene therapies that specifically target medical conditions associated with aging. Below are examples of significant causes of morbidity and mortality in seniors where cell and/or gene therapies are either already available in the clinic or in the clinical trials’ phase of development.

DOI: 10.18609/cgti.2015.002 Citation: Cell Gene Therapy Insights 2015; 1(1), 5-13. Open access

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