Gene therapy for disc degeneration

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2007 Feb;7(2):185-96. doi: 10.1517/14712598.7.2.185.


Recent advances in our understanding of the biology of the intervertebral disc have led to increased interest in the development of novel treatments of intervertebral disc degeneration. With the ability to provide sustained delivery of a potentially therapeutic agent, gene therapy has shown much promise in regard to the treatment of disc degeneration. Many new targets for gene therapy have been identified and new vectors are being investigated for use in intervertebral disc applications. Multiple studies have demonstrated the feasibility of intradiscal gene therapy, and recent studies have shown proof of efficacy of vector-mediated gene transfer in the reproducible animal model, as well as the potential to control transgene expression, improving safety. With continued efforts, gene therapy may prove to be an extremely powerful tool in the future treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc / pathology*
  • Intervertebral Disc / physiology
  • Spinal Diseases / genetics*
  • Spinal Diseases / therapy*