Gene Therapy for Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Short- and Medium-Term Safety

MP Cicalese, F Ferrua, L Castagnaro, K Rolfe, E De Boever, RR Reinhardt, J Appleby, MG Roncarolo, A Aiuti

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Loss of adenosine deaminase activity leads to severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID); production and function of T, B, and natural killer (NK) cells are impaired. Gene therapy (GT) with an autologous CD34 + -enriched cell fraction that contains CD34 + cells transduced with a retroviral vector encoding the human ADA cDNA sequence leads to immune reconstitution in most patients. Here, we report short- and medium-term safety analyses from 18 patients enrolled as part of single-arm, open-label studies or compassionate use programs. Survival was 100% with a median of 6.9 years follow-up (range, 2.3 to 13.4 years). Adverse events were mostly grade 1 or grade 2 and were reported by all 18 patients following GT. Thirty-nine serious adverse events (SAEs) were reported by 15 of 18 patients; no SAEs were considered related to GT. The most common adverse events reported post-GT include upper respiratory tract infection, gastroenteritis, rhinitis, bronchitis, oral candidiasis, cough, neutropenia, diarrhea, and pyrexia. Incidence rates for all of these events were highest during pre-treatment, treatment, and/or 3-month follow-up and then declined over medium-term follow-up. GT did not impact the incidence of neurologic/hearing impairments. No event indicative of leukemic transformation was reported. In 2016 the gene therapy, Strimvelis was approved for the treatment of patients with ADA-SCID for whom there is no suitable bone marrow donor. In this issue of Molecular Therapy, Aiuti et al. provide detailed safety data for treated patients. All patients are alive and without evidence of leukemic transformation. © 2018 The Authors
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-931
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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