The oncogenic potential of retrovirus-mediated gene therapy has been re-emphasized because four patients developed T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL)-like disease from an otherwise successful gene therapy trial for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (X-linked SCID). X-linked SCID, a disease caused by inactivating mutations in the IL2Rγ gene, is part of a heterogeneous group of SCIDs characterized by the lack of T cells in conjunction with the absence of B and/or natural killer (NK) cells. Gene therapy approaches are being developed for this group of diseases. In this review we discuss the various forms of SCID in relation to normal T-cell development. In addition, we consider the possible role of LMO2 and other T-ALL oncogenes in the development of adverse effects as seen in the X-linked SCID gene therapy trial. Furthermore, we debate whether the integration near the LMO2 locus is sufficient to result in T-ALL-like proliferations or whether the gamma-retroviral viral expression of the therapeutic IL2RG gene contributes to leukemogenesis. Finally, we review some newly developed murine models that may have added value for gene therapy safety studies.,
Molecular Therapy
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Pike, K., van der Burg, M., Wagemaker, G., van Dongen, J., & Staal, F. (2007). New insights and unresolved issues regarding insertional mutagenesis in X-linked SCID gene therapy. Molecular Therapy (Vol. 15, pp. 1910–1916). doi:10.1038/