International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-016-2030-2 Pages: 42-72

Current status of ex vivo gene therapy for hematological disorders: a review of clinical trials in Japan around the world

1. The University of Tokyo, Project Division of ALA Advanced Medical Research, The Institute of Medical Science

Correspondence to:
Kenzaburo Tani
Tel: +81-3-6409-2140



Gene therapies are classified into two major categories, namely, in vivo and ex vivo. Clinical trials of human gene therapy began with the ex vivo techniques. Based on the initial successes of gene-therapy clinical trials, these approaches have spread worldwide. The number of gene therapy trials approved worldwide increased gradually starting in 1989, reaching 116 protocols per year in 1999, and a total of 2210 protocols had been approved by 2015. Accumulating clinical evidence has demonstrated the safety and benefits of several types of gene therapy, with the exception of serious adverse events in several clinical trials. These painful experiences were translated backward to basic science, resulting in the development of several new technologies that have influenced the recent development of ex vivo gene therapy in this field. To date, six gene therapies have been approved in a limited number of countries worldwide. In Japan, clinical trials of gene therapy have developed under the strong influence of trials in the US and Europe. Since the initial stages, 50 clinical trials have been approved by the Japanese government. In this review, the history and current status of clinical trials of ex vivo gene therapy for hematological disorders are introduced and discussed.

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