Difference between Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy

What is Gene Therapy?

Gene therapy is a procedure used to replace defective genes. It is an artificial technique that introduces normal functioning genes in the place of defective genes. Thus, it helps to stop the production of improper proteins. Usually, gene therapy is used for the treating of cancerous cells.

Types of Gene Therapy

  • Somatic Gene Therapy – This involves the introduction of healthy genes into the somatic cell line.
  • Germline Gene Therapy – This involves the transfer of therapeutic or healthy genes into the reproductive cells.

Extended Reading: Gene Therapy

Gene Therapy

What is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine used to treat diseases. The induced stem cells heal the damaged cells or accelerate the repair response in the damaged tissue. These cells play a vital role in the tissue regeneration and transplantation process.

The four types of stem cells are – Adult Stem Cells, Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Embryonic Stem Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Usually, they are used in the treatment of sickle cell anaemia, brain diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Difference between Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy

Gene Therapy

Stem Cell Therapy

Introduction or modification of genes to treat or prevent disease.

Introduction of cells to repair or replace the damaged cells.

This usually involves a virus vector to deliver the new gene.

Some stem cells (mesenchymal stem cells) can themselves act as a vector.

Also Read: Somatic and Germline Gene Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between cells and genes?

Cells are basic units of all living things. These cells have chromosomes that contain the genes. Genes are composed of DNA (genetic material) and are found within the cells. They carry codes for the production of specific proteins.

What is Germline gene therapy?

When the gene that makes the reproductive cells (sperms or eggs) is altered or transferred, it is called germline gene therapy. Usually, it is used to treat the genetic diseases that are passed over generations.

What is CRISPR?

CRISPR is a gene editing tool. This tool alters the DNA sequence, and thus modifies the gene function. Also, CRISPR themselves are DNA sequences that are derived from bacteriophages.

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