Difficult-to-treat pain from such diseases as cancer and arthritis could soon be alleviated using gene therapy, suggests research aimed at making it happen.

Researcher Michel Pohl and colleagues at the Pain and Stress Laboratory in Paris, France have been experimenting with gene therapy as a means to provide a continuous supply of natural pain-relieving chemicals to targeted cells.

“About 15% of people in the world suffer from chronic, long-term pain, often caused by severe illnesses like cancer and arthritis or damaged nerves,” says Pohl. “Many forms of chronic pain are difficult to treat, and in the search for new strategies we have been looking at gene-based therapies.”

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