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      Herpes simplex virus-based nerve targeting gene therapy in pain management

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          Chronic pain represents a major medical burden not only in terms of suffering but also in terms of economic costs. Traditional medical approaches have so far proven insufficient in treating chronic pain and new approaches are necessary. Gene therapy with herpes simplex virus (HSV)-based vectors offers the ability to directly target specific regions of the neuraxis involved in pain transmission including the primary afferent nociceptor. This opens up new targets to interact with that are either not available to traditional systemic drugs or cannot be adequately acted upon without substantial adverse off-target effects. Having access to the entire neuron, which HSV-based vector gene therapy enables, expands treatment options beyond merely treating symptoms and allows for altering the basic biology of the nerve. In this paper, we discuss several HSV-based gene therapy vectors that our group and others have used to target specific neuronal functions involved in the processing of nociception in order to develop new therapies for the treatment of chronic pain.

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          Most cited references 79

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          Mechanisms of neuropathic pain.

          Neuropathic pain refers to pain that originates from pathology of the nervous system. Diabetes, infection (herpes zoster), nerve compression, nerve trauma, "channelopathies," and autoimmune disease are examples of diseases that may cause neuropathic pain. The development of both animal models and newer pharmacological strategies has led to an explosion of interest in the underlying mechanisms. Neuropathic pain reflects both peripheral and central sensitization mechanisms. Abnormal signals arise not only from injured axons but also from the intact nociceptors that share the innervation territory of the injured nerve. This review focuses on how both human studies and animal models are helping to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these surprisingly common disorders. The rapid gain in knowledge about abnormal signaling promises breakthroughs in the treatment of these often debilitating disorders.
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              Viral vectors for gene therapy: the art of turning infectious agents into vehicles of therapeutics.

              Considered by some to be among the simpler forms of life, viruses represent highly evolved natural vectors for the transfer of foreign genetic information into cells. This attribute has led to extensive attempts to engineer recombinant viral vectors for the delivery of therapeutic genes into diseased tissues. While substantial progress has been made, and some clinical successes are over the horizon, further vector refinement and/or development is required before gene therapy will become standard care for any individual disorder.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                20 January 2014
                : 7
                : 71-79
                PeriphaGen Inc, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: James R Goss, PeriphaGen Inc, 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 701, Pittsburgh, PA 15203, USA, Tel +1 412 488 0348 ext 103, Fax +1 412 488 0349, Email james.goss@ 123456periphagen.com
                © 2014 Goss et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.



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