[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic mutations affecting the capacity of basal keratinocytes to adhere firmly to the underneath derma lead to severe, often lethal, blistering disorders of the skin known as Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). About 400,000-500,000 people worldwide are affected and no definitive treatments have yet been developed. Gene therapy might represent an alternative therapeutic approach for these devastating inherited disorders. In the last 10 years pre-clinical studies have shown that human epidermal stem cells can be stably transduced using integrating vectors allowing long-term genetic correction of the adhesion defects affecting EB keratinocytes both in vitro and in vivo after transplantation onto immunodeficient animals. In addition tremendous progress have been achieved in the clinical applications of cultured keratinocytes (cell therapy) for the regeneration of the epidermis over full thickness wounds or the restoration of damaged corneal surfaces. The combination of (i) optimised culturing conditions not altering the epidermal stemness, (ii) gene transfer vectors able to target epidermal stem cells very efficiently and (iii) surgical procedures allowing the grafting of large skin areas have therefore led our group to submit the first phase I/II gene therapy clinical trial for Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa.
No preview · Article · Jun 2006 · Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the last 20 years epidermal stem cells have been extensively used for tissue regeneration of epidermis and other epithelial surfaces. The tremendous progress achieved has led to the development of protocols aimed at the correction of rare genetic disorders such as epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a severe, often lethal, blistering disorder of the skin. Approximately 400,000-500,000 people are affected worldwide and no definitive treatments have yet been developed. Gene therapy might represent an alternative therapeutic approach. This paper reviews the different strategies used to genetically modify keratinocytes from EB patients and addresses issues such as the use of in vivo or ex vivo approaches, how to target keratinocytes with stem cell properties in order to have long-term therapeutic gene expression, and which gene transfer agents should be used. The progress made has led the authors' group to submit a request for a Phase I/II ex vivo therapy clinical trial for patients with junctional EB.
No preview · Article · May 2006 · Expert opinion on biological therapy