Gene Therapy--New Challenges Ahead

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Science  17 Oct 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5644, pp. 400-401
DOI: 10.1126/science.1091258

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The successful use of retroviral gene transfer to treat 10 patients with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID-X1) has been welcomed as evidence of the therapeutic potential of gene therapy. However, as Williams and Baum suggest in their Perspective, the discovery that 2 of the 10 patients developed leukemia within 3 years of gene therapy ( Hacein-Bey-Abina et al.) reinforces the need to develop even more specific gene therapy interventions.