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Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2000 Mar;9(3):543-9.

Adenosine deaminase deficiency as the first target disorder in gene therapy.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Institutes of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, CREST (JST), Tsukuba, Japan.


In the past decade, the advent of gene therapy has been acclaimed as a revolutionary medical intervention, embraced with great enthusiasm. However, recent disappointing results of the considerable clinical trials have also clearly demonstrated that such an initial expectation was an overestimation of gene therapy. There are only a few successful cases despite the 3000 patients who have been treated with various forms of gene therapy. Gene therapy for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) caused by adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency is one of the few such cases where results have been promising. In particular, peripheral T-lymphocytes-directed gene therapy provides further immunological improvements for patients with ADA-SCID receiving the PEG-ADA treatment whereas gene therapy targeting haematopoietic stem cell has so far proved insufficient for clinical benefits. This report will review crucial problems elucidated in the past five clinical trials for ADA-SCID and gives an outline of the next generation of stem cell gene therapy in Japan.

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