Gene therapy is a novel approach for treating various congenital and acquired genetic disorders, including cancer, heart disease, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Amongst possible gene delivery systems, retroviral vector mediated gene transfer has been the most extensively studied and has been approved for use in over 40 current Phase I/II clinical trials for the treatment of various disorders, primarily cancers. Recent technological improvements include the optimization of vector production by concentration and lyophilization, resulting in high titers of vectors, as well as the large-scale production of vector-produced cells for the treatment of brain cancer. Present clinical protocols require specialized care centers with expertise in molecular biology and cell transplantation. Considerable effort is under way to develop retroviral vectors that can be both injected directly into the body and targeted to specific cell types within the body. Such vectors could be administered to patients by physicians in their offices. Successful development of this new technology would greatly expand the clinical potential of gene therapy.