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Open Access
  • © Marina Cavazzana
  • , et al.
  • 2022

Gene Therapy for Hemoglobinopathies

  • Marina Cavazzana 1
  • Fulvio Mavilio 1
  • 1 - University of Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité - IMAGINE Institute - Paris France and University of Modena and Reggio Emilia - Modena Italy

Abstract

Gene therapy for β-thalassemia and sickle-cell disease is based on transplantation of genetically corrected, autologous hematopoietic stem cells. Preclinical and clinical studies have shown the safety and efficacy of this therapeutic approach, currently based on lentiviral vectors to transfer a β-globin gene under the transcriptional control of regulatory elements of the β-globin locus. Nevertheless, a number of factors are still limiting its efficacy, such as limited stem-cell dose and quality, suboptimal gene transfer efficiency and gene expression levels, and toxicity of myeloablative regimens. In addition, the cost and complexity of the current vector and cell manufacturing clearly limits its application to patients living in less favored countries, where hemoglobinopathies may reach endemic proportions. Gene-editing technology may provide a therapeutic alternative overcoming some of these limitations, though proving its safety and efficacy will most likely require extensive clinical investigation.


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