Research Article

Lentiviral Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy in Patients with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome

Science  11 Jul 2013:
pp.
DOI: 10.1126/science.1233151

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Abstract

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an inherited immunodeficiency caused by mutations in the gene encoding WASP, a protein regulating the cytoskeleton. Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) transplants can be curative but, when matched donors are unavailable, infusion of autologous HSPCs modified ex vivo by gene therapy is an alternative approach. We used a lentiviral vector encoding functional WASP to genetically correct HSPCs from three WAS patients and reinfused the cells after reduced-intensity conditioning regimen. All three patients showed stable engraftment of WASP-expressing cells and improvements in platelet counts, immune functions, and clinical score. Vector integration analyses revealed highly polyclonal and multilineage haematopoiesis resulting from the gene-corrected HSPCs. Lentiviral gene therapy did not induce selection of integrations near oncogenes, and no aberrant clonal expansion was observed after 20 to 32 months. Although extended clinical observation is required to establish long-term safety, lentiviral gene therapy represents a promising treatment for WAS.

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