• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

Gene therapy article - is it already with us?

A

Anonymous

Guest
http://www.lfpress.com/sports/othersports/2010/02/08/12785816-sun.html

There are already signs some in sports have explored its potential, they said. But how common those efforts are is anyone's guess.

They note a German coach was discovered a few years ago trying to obtain a gene delivery treatment that turns on the body's erythropoietin production, used by dopers in endurance sports. It can be detected in doping control, but if gene therapy allowed athletes to crank the amount of red blood cells they make without taking a drug, it may also allow them to foil anti-doping tests -- at least for a time.


Has anyone heard of this incident of the German coach before? Let's face it, there's a good chance it was in either XC skiing or cycling.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I've found an interview with one of the authors:

http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=123410036

Dr. FRIEDMANN: Well, that was a man named Thomas Springsteen, who already had been involved in some doping issues with the Turin Olympic games, I think. And he was found by the German authorities to be on the Internet trying to obtain something called Repoxygen, which was a gene therapy material being developed by a British company. This material was intended to produce erythropoietin, EPO. And we know, of course, that's a very popular drug of choice or gene or material of choice, particularly in an endurance sport.

It's highly abused in some kinds of sport. Its used - it has been used historically as the hormone itself, but of course we know the gene that produces it and it's been possible to put that gene into a virus, a disabled virus, that acts as a - kind of a moving van to put that gene into cells. That material was intended to treat people with chronic kidney disease and with cancers, people who are unable to make good amounts of blood themselves.

So it stimulates blood production, presumably in patients. And Springsteen is not a clinician and not a scientist but an athletic coach, so he was trying to get this material, and one can only assume that he was trying to get it to apply to athletes in order to increase their blood production and their endurance.

We don't know if that wound up in any real athletes, but it's quite clear that the world of sport is very much aware of what's going on in gene therapy, keeping tabs on it. Much of it is published material. And so the advances in gene therapy are not unknown to the world of sport.

And for every Thomas Springsteen who comes light, we're suspecting that there may be others who are not coming to light but who are just as interested.
 
Aug 12, 2009
3,639
0
0
Visit site
blackcat said:
hmm, I would like to submit into documentation, evidence 1 A. StrongArmstrong's seed.

How does his seed swim again? hmmm

Funny. Are we talking about the matured seed or the seed looking for something to fertilise? If the latter, I could point out some fanboys who would love the job of taking a sample. :rolleyes:

Gene boosting. Sounds like stuff out of Dark Angel the tv show or the Bionic Woman. If the science can create athletes who like Max (aka Jessica Alba) then most of the public will be for it. Here comes, Johhny StrongArm, the 6 million dollar man!

Didn't the US swim teams head coach accuse the aussie government and swimming australia of using genetic manipulation and hgh on Thorpe as a child around the 2000 Olympics. Then the US went all quiet when Phelps came out guns blazing.
 
Oct 13, 2009
72
0
0
Visit site
It's really just the next step......we've been working Gene therapy for over 20 years. It's just a matter of time before it works it's way into sports.

Can wait to see the Tour De Freak show in 10+ years.....
 
Aug 6, 2009
1,901
1
0
Visit site
mitchman said:
It's really just the next step......we've been working Gene therapy for over 20 years. It's just a matter of time before it works it's way into sports.

Can wait to see the Tour De Freak show in 10+ years.....
We might have been working on it, but has it actually been working? My impression is that these kind of things are largely still theoretical.
 
biokemguy said:
The OP's link to an interview with Theodore Friedmann references an article in the journal Science. Unfortunately you need subscription access to read the article.

Have access (in fact publish there:)). You have the reference or link?
Thanks
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
biokemguy said:
The OP's link to an interview with Theodore Friedmann references an article in the journal Science. Unfortunately you need subscription access to read the article.

Here's a couple links that were used as references in that article that are interesting reading, particularly the second link.

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1890782,00.html

Associated Press, 23 July 2009, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25816605/

Blimey, that second link is worrying. Makes you wonder whether some riders are already using that sort of thing.
 
Jan 18, 2010
277
0
0
Visit site
Have access (in fact publish there).
Publish, as in more than once? Nice work, I'm hoping to publish there, but will need a little luck. :rolleyes:

Here's the link to the Science article.
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/327/5966/647

It's in the latest issue.

Regarding the chinese doctors distributing gene therapy and/or stem cell treatments as PEDs: That really seems like playing with fire to me, the safety of these treatments in humans remains questionable AFAIK.
 
Jun 18, 2009
281
0
0
Visit site
Vancouver Olympics Spur Gene Doping Warnings
Richard A. Lovett
for National Geographic News
Published February 4, 2010
With the Vancouver Olympics approaching, sports regulators are taking note of a new wave of genetic technologies that could one day be used to cheat.
Like steroids and other performance enhancers, "gene doping" might soon allow athletes to grow bigger, stronger, and faster via unnatural means.
(Related: "What It Takes to Build the Unbeatable Body" in National Geographic magazine.)
While nobody knows if gene doping is currently being practiced, "it can be done now," said Theodore Friedmann, a gene-therapy researcher at the University of California, San Diego.
Most likely, current efforts would be "hamfisted" and dangerous, he said. But "we know there are disreputable people in sport with access to technology and a lot of money."
(Related: "Barry Bonds Steroid Debate Highlights History of Drugs in Sports.")
Friedmann and colleagues are therefore calling on scientists to help keep gene doping out of the Olympics and other sports events. The experts advise controlling access to gene therapies and warning athletes of the potentially serious health risks.
"Marathon Mice"
No Vancouver Olympian has been accused of gene doping to date.
But Friedmann and colleagues note in tomorrow's issue of the journal Science that it's currently possible for athletes seeking to increase endurance to do so by boosting their muscle cells' expression of a gene called PPAR-∂. (Get an overview of human genetics.)
This gene affects muscle-cell metabolism, and "it also has major effects on fat metabolism and is one of the things being looked at for treatment of obesity and diabetes," Friedmann said.
When used in mice, PPAR-∂ converted ordinary creatures into superathletes, dubbed marathon mice.
Another potential gene-therapy agent is Repoxygen, a medication that was being considered as a way to fight anemia, Friedmann said.
The experimental technique boosts red blood cell production—which would be a way for athletes to increase the amount of oxygen delivered by blood to the muscles. In fact, in 2006 a German newspaper reported on a coach caught trying to buy Repoxygen, which is not approved for human use.
Misusing such treatments via gene doping is dangerous, Friedmann said, with substantial risks of cancer or even death.
How to Catch Olympics Cheats
Unlike drug enhancements, gene doping won't show up in existing blood or urine tests.
To catch gene dopers, sports authorities are considering new testing methods based on looking for changes in cheaters' gene expression and cellular proteins.
"Doping agents don't act in a vacuum," Friedmann said. "They have multiple effects, and many of these will influence the way in which genes are expressed and the proteins produced. If you look at all 25,000 [human] genes, there will be a large number of changes" after gene doping.
Figuring out which changes are caused by doping, however, won't be easy.
"The biggest problem would be understanding what other factors might affect the pattern," said Michael Lawton, molecular toxicologist and drug-safety expert at the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Gender, age, diet, and exercise can all affect gene expression, he said. "What you want is to avoid false positives that you think are drug use but are actually something else."
Study author Friedmann agrees that looking for changes in gene expression isn't a validated and foolproof approach yet, but he thinks definitive tests will be coming down the line.
He also notes that, while delving into athletes' genomes raises important privacy issues, "that's kind of the cost of being an elite athlete."
Mari Holden, a silver-medal cyclist from the 2000 Summer Olympics and now a cycling coach, agrees.
"If you are wondering if I think it's too invasive to take a genetic test, I do not," she said. "Clean athletes want strong, reliable controls. But it needs to be scientifically proven and reliable."

Here's an interesting piece.
 
Whole new ballgame.

The way I see it, EVERYONE should be worried about gene therapy, even today's current army of dopers.

If you think about it, theoretically you could screen athletes from any sport (or even non-athletes) to isolate those individuals genetically predisposed to benefit the greatest from the gene therapy.

Conversely, there is no guarentee that a current professional cyclist, already on the best available PED program would be the best genetic match for the therapy. All the money in the world can't buy you the right DNA.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
MacRoadie said:
The way I see it, EVERYONE should be worried about gene therapy, even today's current army of dopers.

If you think about it, theoretically you could screen athletes from any sport (or even non-athletes) to isolate those individuals genetically predisposed to benefit the greatest from the gene therapy.

Conversely, there is no guarentee that a current professional cyclist, already on the best available PED program would be the best genetic match for the therapy. All the money in the world can't buy you the right DNA.

And then do something like the old East German thing, every child gets DNA screened, assign them to certain sports, gene dope to enhance their natural ability, bish-bash-bosh: world beating army of athletes. Nice.

:(
 
Mar 16, 2009
19,482
2
0
ellobodelmar.spaces.live.com
Gene therapy for blood disorder a 'success'
Beta thalassaemia is an inherited blood disorder that affects the body's ability to create red blood cells.

The first gene therapy trial was in an 18-year-old man with a severe form of the condition, who had been receiving regular blood transfusions since the age of three.

Stem cells from his bone marrow were treated with a gene to correct for the faulty one.

They were then transfused back into his body, where they gradually gave rise to healthy red blood cells.

Three years after the treatment, which took place in 2007, the man remains mildly anaemic, but no longer needs blood transfusions, doctors said.