Gene therapy has been investigated in many aspects of plastic and reconstructive surgery. These areas ultimately involve various forms of tissue healing and the manipulation of bony and soft tissues to reconstruct defects secondary to neoplastic and congenital disorders and trauma. Most research has been limited to animal studies with the exception of clinical trials on the use of gene therapy in lower leg ulcer healing and as an adjunct to advanced recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Overall, these preliminary studies have produced optimistic results. With the development of more efficient and safer delivery systems, the application of gene therapy in plastic surgery could become more widespread, especially in combination with tissue engineering technology.
Keywords: gene therapy, plastic and reconstructive surgery, tissue engineering, tissue healing, craniosynostosis, haemangiomas, head and neck cancer
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