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November 1993

Somatic Gene Therapy in Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Deparment of Otorhinolaryngology (Dr O'Malley) and the Departments of Cell Biology and Pediatrics (Dr Ledley), Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tex.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(11):1191-1197. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880230033006

The initial clinical trials of somatic gene therapy have demonstrated that gene transfer can be performed safely in a clinical setting and with public acceptance. These trials have focused attention on the broad applications of this technology in routine medical and surgical practice. This article reviews the reasons why somatic gene therapy could lead to significant improvements in clinical practice as well as specific therapies in otolaryngology—head and neck surgery. Early applications include the treatment of inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis, new approaches for treating malignancies, new methods for enhancing tissue repair, and regeneration after plastic and reconstructive surgery, and the potential for using the thyroid as a target for somatic gene therapy. The following review will illustrate how somatic gene therapy may have a significant impact not only on the treatment of rare genetic diseases but on managing the common problems encountered by physicians and patients in daily practice.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:1191-1197)