Bone marrow gene transfer in three patients with adenosine deaminase deficiency

P M Hoogerbrugge, V W van Beusechem, A Fischer, M Debree, F le Deist, J L Perignon, G Morgan, B Gaspar, L D Fairbanks, C H Skeoch, A Moseley, M Harvey, R J Levinsky, D Valerio

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Adenosine deaminase (ADA) deficiency results in severe combined immune deficiency disease (SCID), which is fatal without treatment. Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is the treatment of choice if an HLA-identical sibling bone marrow donor is available, resulting in almost 100% cure rate. BMT-related mortality is high in patients lacking such a donor. For these patients, efficient transfer of a recombinant ADA gene into hematopoietic stem cells is a therapeutic option if it results in the outgrowth of a 'genetically repaired' lymphoid system. Based on successful gene transfer studies in monkeys, we performed retrovirus-mediated gene transfer into CD34+ bone marrow cells of three patients with ADA deficiency. Two patients received bovine ADA conjugated to polyethylene glycol (PEG-ADA); in the third patient, PEG-ADA was started 4 months after gene transfer. Gene transfer resulted in a 5-12% transduction frequency of in vitro colony forming cells (CFU-Cs). No toxicity was observed during and after infusion of the graft. Following infusion of the transduced CD34+ cells, transduced granulocytes and mononuclear cells persisted in the circulation for 3 months. In addition, the gene was present in the marrow of one of the patients at 6 months after gene transfer. Expression of the gene was not detected. After this period, the gene could not be detected. In monkey studies we showed that myeloablation, which was not performed in the patients, may enhance engraftment of genetically modified cells. We hypothesize that lack of myeloablation, administration of bovine ADA and low numbers of transduced progenitor cells all may have contributed to the relative low numbers of transduced cells in the patients. Under these conditions, no selective advantage of the genetically corrected progenitor cells was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-83
Number of pages5
JournalGene therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1996


  • Adenosine Deaminase/genetics
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD34/analysis
  • Cattle
  • DNA/analysis
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Genetic Vectors/genetics
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leukocytes/chemistry
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Proviruses
  • Retroviridae/genetics
  • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency/therapy

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