[MOL] gene therapy - lots of obstacles yet [00034] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] gene therapy - lots of obstacles yet

To reap medical benefits, patients must be gene-savvy
    [11/01/99; Cable News Network]

WASHINGTON (AP)  -- You've heard that scientists expect to map
all 100,000 or so human genes by 2002. You've seen headlines
claiming discovery of "the breast cancer gene" or "the Alzheimer's
gene." Maybe you've considered taking a gene test to discover
if you're at risk of a dread disease. 

And you've probably seen breathless claims that gene therapy's
miraculous cures are just around the corner. 

But genetics isn't that simple. 

There isn't just one gene that goes wrong to cause a complex disease
like breast cancer or Alzheimer's -- it's a mix of different
genes that may interact with environmental factors still being
discovered. There are questions about the value of testing for
certain genes until scientists better understand how they work.
As for gene therapy, it is promising but researchers still have
lots of obstacles to overcome before anyone should expect cures.

The full article can be found at:

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