In spite of developments of neonatal intensive care medicine, it is still difficult or impossible to treat several inherited genetic disorders using conventional pharmacological methods. Gene therapy is a promising alternate approach for treating a variety of genetic disorders. By the time the patient reaches adulthood, however, it is often too late for effective treatment. But in several of these cases, neonatal gene therapy appears potentially useful against inherited disorders that are not obviously treatable through any other methods. This chapter describes the strategy for neonatal gene therapy for inherited disorders and presents preclinical neonatal gene therapy data for two inherited disorders, metachromatic leukodystrophy and hypophosphatasia. We also discuss the utility, advantages, problems and potential of neonatal gene therapy for inherited disorders.
Part of the book: Selected Topics in Neonatal Care