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Acute Topics in Anti-Doping

Editor(s): Rabin O. (Montreal, Que.) 
Pitsiladis Y. (Eastbourne) 
Rabin O, Pitsiladis Y (eds): Acute Topics in Anti-Doping. Med Sport Sci. Basel, Karger, 2017, vol 62, pp 91-106

Gene and Cell Doping: The New Frontier - Beyond Myth or Reality

Neuberger E.W.I. · Simon P.

Author affiliations

Department of Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation, and Disease Prevention, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany

Corresponding Author

Prof. P. Simon

Department of Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation and Disease Prevention

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Albert Schweitzer Street 22

DE-55128 Mainz (Germany)

E-Mail simonpe@uni-mainz.de

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The advent of gene transfer technologies in clinical studies aroused concerns that these technologies will be misused for performance-enhancing purposes in sports. However, during the last 2 decades, the field of gene therapy has taken a long and winding road with just a few gene therapeutic drugs demonstrating clinical benefits in humans. The current state of gene therapy is that viral vector-mediated gene transfer shows the now long-awaited initial success for safe, and in some cases efficient, gene transfer in clinical trials. Additionally, the use of small interfering RNA promises an efficient therapy through gene silencing, even though a number of safety concerns remain. More recently, the development of the molecular biological CRISPR/Cas9 system opened new possibilities for efficient and highly targeted genome editing. This chapter aims to define and consequently demystify the term “gene doping” and discuss the current reality concerning gene- and cell-based physical enhancement strategies. The technological progress in the field of gene therapy will be illustrated, and the recent clinical progress as well as technological difficulties will be highlighted. Comparing the attractiveness of these technologies with conventional doping practices reveals that current gene therapy technologies remain unattractive for doping purposes and unlikely to outperform conventional doping. However, future technological advances may raise the attractiveness of gene doping, thus making it easier to develop detection strategies. Currently available detection strategies are introduced in this chapter showing that many forms of genetic manipulation can already be detected in principle.

© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel


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Article / Publication Details

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Abstract of The Anti-Doping Science

Published online: June 02, 2017
Cover Date: 2017

Number of Print Pages: 16
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 1

ISBN: 978-3-318-06043-0 (Print)
eISBN: 978-3-318-06044-7 (Online)