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October 13, 1989

Preliminary Results May Open Door to Gene Therapy Just a Bit Wider

JAMA. 1989;262(14):1909. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430140009002

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THE DOOR that leads to true gene therapy appears to have been opened a little wider by the finding that tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes armed with a marker gene can survive in a patient for at least 19 days.

With this preliminary finding, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Bethesda, Md) investigators involved now are planning the next steps in this immunotherapeutic approach.

Last May, after 16 reviews of the protocols and a lawsuit filed by a critic of genetic manipulation, Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, and Michael Blaese, MD, of the NIH's National Cancer Institute and W. French Anderson, MD, of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, received approval from James B. Wyngaarden, MD (then director of the NIH), and Frank E. Young, MD, PhD (commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md), to inject genetically altered cultures of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes into 10 patients with advanced malignant melanomas (JAMA. 1989;262:16