For Failing Hearts: Gene therapy stops decline in animals | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


News

For Failing Hearts: Gene therapy stops decline in animals

By
10:30am, July 24, 2002

Tests in hamsters have raised hopes for creating a gene therapy to stop the common downward spiral of chronic heart failure.

What distinguishes the proposed treatment is a novel version of a calcium-regulating gene plus an improved way of getting that gene into heart cells, says Kenneth Chien of the University of California, San Diego. In a laboratory breed of hamsters that commonly develops progressive heart failure, the treatment arrested the decline for the 7 months that the experiment ran, Chien and his colleagues report in the August Nature Medicine.

If testing continues to go well, Chien says, he hopes to design within months a version of the therapy to test in people. Also, he speculates that the new delivery system might work for other genes. "This opens the door," Chien says.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News