Objective:The host immune response and low vector efficiency have been key impediments to effective cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) gene transfer for cystic fibrosis (CF). An adeno-associated virus vector (AAV-CFTR) was used in a phase I dose-escalation study to transfer CFTR cDNA into respiratory epithelial cells of the maxillary sinus of 10 CF patients.Study Design:A prospective, randomized, unblinded, dose-escalation, within-subjects, phase I clinical trial of AAV-CFTR was conducted.Patients:Ten patients with previous bilateral maxillary antrostomies were treated.Main Outcome Measures:Safety, gene transfer as measured by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and sinus transepithelial potential difference (TEPD) were measured.Results:The highest level of gene transfer was observed in the range of 0.1-1 AAV-CFTR vector copy per cell in biopsy specimens obtained 2 weeks after treatment. When tested, persistence was observed in one patient for 41 days and in another for 10 weeks. Dose-dependent changes in TEPD responses to pharmacologic intervention were observed following treatments. Little or no inflammatory or immune responses were observed.Conclusion:AAV-CFTR administration to the maxillary sinus results in successful, dose-dependent gene transfer to the maxillary sinus and alterations in sinus TEPD suggestive of a functional effect, with little or no cytopathic or host immune response. Further study is warranted for AAV vectors as they may prove useful for CFTR gene transfer and other in vivo gene transfer therapies. A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects, phase II clinical trial of the effect AAV-CFTR on clinical recurrence of sinusitis will determine the clinical efficacy of AAV gene therapy for CF.
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