The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


The use of gene therapy as a medical treatment option was first introduced to the world in 1990, when a four-year-old girl became its first patient. Since then gene therapy has met great success but also severe drawback. Incidences with severely negative outcomes on patients gave gene therapy a bad name and many began skeptical towards its use, but the constant work and progress on the safety and effectiveness of gene therapy is making it a more viable route of treatment. This paper focuses on gene therapy as a form of cancer treatment. Viral insertion of the modified genetic material is the most effective method of insertion, targeting a large number of cells, although physical insertion may be safer and more economical. The mechanism by which many gene therapies work is suicide genes, genes that cause the cell they enter to lyse. The paper goes on to discuss the H-19 locus on the genome, which plays a significant role in cancer development and conversely, treatment. BC-819 is a plasmid that is synthetically produced to treat cancer based on targeting the H19 locus. Research and test models of the BC-819 show promising results for many cancer patients.