Update on gene therapy for adenosine deaminase-deficient severe combined immunodeficiency

Francesca Ferrua, Immacolata Brigida, Alessandro Aiuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose Of Review: The present review describes the recent progress in the treatment of adenosine deaminase-deficient severe combined immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID) using autologous gene-modified hematopoietic stem cells, comparing immune reconstitution with respect to allogeneic transplant and discussing differences with gene therapy for SCID-X1. Recent Findings: Since 2000, more than 30 ADA-SCID patients have been treated with gene therapy worldwide, with successful outcome in most cases, consisting of progressive immune reconstitution, efficient systemic detoxification, and long-term multilineage engraftment. Gene therapy resulted in restoration of thymic activity and T-cell functions, although the kinetic of reconstitution was slower compared with standard bone marrow transplant. Unlike allogeneic transplant from alternative donors, survival after gene therapy is excellent. In comparison with SCID-X1, ADA-SCID gene therapy presents a better safety profile and engraftment of multilineage transduced stem/progenitor cells, thanks to the use of nonmyeloablative preconditioning. New approaches using safer integrating vectors are being developed, which may lead to safer and effective gene therapy for ADA-SCID and other genetic disorders. Summary: In the last decade, gene therapy has been developed as a successful and safe alternative strategy for patients affected by ADA-SCID lacking a compatible sibling donor. The application of innovative vector technology might further improve its efficacy and safety profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-556
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • adenosine deaminase
  • gene therapy
  • hematopoietic stem cell
  • immune deficiency
  • retroviral vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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