News

Use of cytotoxic T cells to treat human cytomegalovirus infection following allogeneic stem cell transplantation

October 08, 2019

Share article

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection, particularly when it is persistent, causes significant morbidity and mortality following allogenic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). While antiviral agents are the first-line therapy, they are limited by adverse events and acquired resistance. The authors were interested in the safety and efficacy of donor-derived HCMV-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTL) as a first-line therapy for HCMV infection after allo-SCT. They found that, in humanised HCMV-infected mice, first-line therapy with CTL does effectively treat systemic HCMV infection by promoting the restoration of graft-derived endogenous HCMV-specific immunity in vivo. When tested in a clinical trial, when compared with pair-matched high-risk controls, first-line therapy with CTL significantly reduced the rate of persistent (2.9% vs. 20.0%) and late (5.7% vs. 20.0%) HCMV infections. It also significantly reduced the cumulative incidence of persistent HCMV infection (hazard ratio [HR] 0.13, 95%CI 0.10-0.82), significantly lowered 1-year treatment-related mortality (HR 0.15, 95%CI 0.11-0.90) and improved 1-year overall survival (HR 6.35, 95%CI 1.05-9.00). In addition, first-line therapy with CTL was found to promote the quantitative and functional recovery of CTL in patients, which was associated with HCMV clearance. Therefore there are a number of benefits of using CTL together with antiviral drugs as a first-line therapy for treating HCMV infection, possibly by stimulating the recovery of endogenous HCMV-specific immunity.

Read more here

Zhao XY, Pei XY, Chang YJ, Yu XX, Xu LP, et al. ISSN: Clin Infect Dis; pii: ciz368

2019

Added: October 08, 2019