Gene therapy is an active research area in The Netherlands and Dutch scientists involved in fundamental and clinical gene therapy research significantly contribute to the progresses made in this field. This ranges from the establishment of the 293, 911 and PER.C6 cell lines, which are used worldwide for the production of replication-defective adenoviral vectors, to the development of targeted viral vectors and T lymphocytes as well as of non-viral vectors. Several milestones have been achieved in Dutch clinical gene therapy trials, including the first treatment worldwide of patients with adenosine deaminase deficiency with genetically corrected hematopoietic stem cells in collaboration with French and British scientists. Until now, about 230 patients with various diseases have been treated with viral and non-viral gene therapy in this country. Ongoing and upcoming Dutch clinical trials focus on the translation of new developments in gene therapy research, including the restoration of genetic defects other than SCID, and the use of oncolytic adenoviruses and targeted T cells for the treatment of cancer. The growing commercial interest in Dutch clinical gene therapy is reflected by the involvement of two Dutch companies in ongoing trials as well as the participation of Dutch clinical centres in large phase III international multicenter immuno-gene therapy trials on prostate cancer sponsored by an American company. Translational gene therapy research in The Netherlands is boosted at a governmental level by the Dutch Ministry of Health via a dedicated funding programme. This paper presents an overview on milestones in Dutch basic gene therapy research as well as on past, present and future clinical gene therapy trials in The Netherlands.
Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.