Prenatal therapy: theory or practice?

Maritsa VA, Kallianidis K, Antsaklis A.

1rst Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Athens, Alexandra Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Correspondence: K. Kallianidis, Vas. Sofias 80, Alexandra Hospital, 11528 Athens, Greece, Tel.:2107790443,

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Abstract

The essence of prenatal diagnosis, ideally should be the application of prenatal therapy. Such an opportunity could be given through fetal intra-uterine surgery and fetal gene therapy. The progress of image-guidance techniques, during the last decades, has allowed the diagnosis of numerous abnormalities of the fetus during pregnancy. As a consequence, sometimes the intervention before birth is commanding. Fetal surgery is applied mainly in anatomical fetal malformations or for stem cell transplantation. The research of fetal gene therapy is directed to monogenetic diseases and has evolved from an imaginary general idea to a section of intensive preclinical and clinical experimentations.

Key words: prenatal therapy; fetal surgery; stem-cell transplant; fetal gene therapy.