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2024 Predictions about Gene and Cell Therapy

As 2023 draws to a close, we asked our experts from across Mass General Brigham what exciting scientific breakthroughs or advancements they are anticipating in 2024. Many of our experts predict that gene and cell therapies will transform treatment for numerous diseases in the year ahead and lead to new opportunities to improve care through patient-driven research. Mass General Brigham’s Gene and Cell Therapy Institute is helping to translate scientific discoveries made by researchers into first-in-human clinical trials and, ultimately, life-changing treatments for patients.

Read more 2024 predictions:

“For 2024, I foresee the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of adoptive T cell therapy in cancer (melanoma), which will open up an entirely new approach to cancer immunotherapy, allowing a patient's own T cells to be used as a ‘living drug' to treat their cancer. Additionally, I predict personalized mRNA vaccines in cancer (e.g. melanoma, pancreas, other) will be an emerging therapy given prior to or after surgery to augment immune responses against cancer.” 

Genevieve Boland, MD
Vice Chair of Research, Department of Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital
Emma and Bill Roberts MGH Research Scholar 2023-2028

“In 2024, I anticipate that the FDA will approve additional gene therapies for inherited disorders. I also predict that artificial intelligence (AI) will be proven and adopted to help make decisions during brain surgery.” 

E. Antonio Chiocca, MD PhD
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“In ophthalmology, I anticipate that we will see the early results of the first clinical trials for induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells as well as the clinical trial results for two new (non anti-VEGF) targets for wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.”

Patricia A. D'Amore, PhD, MBA
Charles L. Schepens Professor of Ophthalmology
Mass Eye and Ear

“While the field of cell therapy is advancing and the therapeutic need is great, current approaches are limited by the safety, consistency and reliability of the cells used, as well as the time needed for their differentiation and expansion. Universal donor iPSC will be a game-changer, offering an off-the-shelf and ready-to-use solution.”

Allan Goldstein, MD
Chief of Pediatric Surgery
Massachusetts General Hospital

“In 2023 there was an explosion of new cell and gene therapies for previously untreatable conditions, so I predict that 2024 will be the year that we see population genomics expand into the public consciousness and the healthcare workstream. This means that everyone can choose to have genome sequencing and analysis for themselves and their children, to help predict future risk of preventable or treatable disorders."

Robert Green, MD, MPH
Professor, Division of Genetics
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“There are many advances in the field of ophthalmology expected in the coming year. Some of the more exciting, novel treatments being studied at Mass Eye and Ear include CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing approaches for inherited retinal degenerations that have shown promise in early trials and will hopefully continue to progress and offer new treatment options for patients. Also being studied are neuroprotective treatments for retinal diseases like geographic atrophy in age-related macular degeneration that are based on Mass Eye and Ear research, which will have phase 2 results in 2024. Stem cells may also move closer to the clinic next year for corneal conditions, as the CALEC trial led by our Cornea Service continues to advance in further phase studies.”

Joan W. Miller, MD
Chair of Ophthalmology at Mass Eye and Ear and Mass General Hospital
Ophthalmologist-in-Chief at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“There is a wave of anticipated FDA approvals for CRISPR-based genetic therapies, which have shown tremendous progress in the clinic. In 2024, we anticipate other clinical updates that will provide more data about the safety and durability of these 'one-and-done' permanent genetic treatments.”

Benjamin Kleinstiver, PhD
Investigator, Department of Pathology
Massachusetts General Hospital
Kayden-Lambert MGH Research Scholar 2023-2028

“The use of CAR-T cell therapy to treat cancer has been remarkably successful in the treatment of blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma). In 2024, I anticipate that we will see CAR-T cell treatment successes in advanced solid tumor malignancies like colon cancer and ovarian cancer. It will be fascinating to see how far scientists and doctors can push these cellular therapies (CAR-T, CAR-Macrophages, CAR-NK-cells, CAR-Neutrophils) for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease.”

David B. Sykes, MD, PhD
Physician Investigator, Center for Regenerative Medicine
Massachusetts General Hospital