Purpose Improvement of cure rates for patients treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) will require efforts to decrease treatment-related mortality from severe viral infections. Adoptively transferred virus-specific T cells (VSTs) generated from eligible, third-party donors could provide broad antiviral protection to recipients of HSCT as an immediately available offthe-shelf product. Patient and Methods We generated a bank of VSTs that recognized five common viral pathogens: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), adenovirus (AdV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), BK virus (BKV), and human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). The VSTs were administered to 38 patients with 45 infections in a phase II clinical trial. Results A single infusion produced a cumulative complete or partial response rate of 92% (95% CI, 78.1% to 98.3%) overall and the following rates by virus: 100% for BKV (n = 16), 94% for CMV (n = 17), 71% for AdV (n = 7), 100% for EBV (n = 2), and 67% for HHV-6 (n = 3). Clinical benefit was achieved in 31 patients treated for one infection and in seven patients treated for multiple coincident infections. Thirteen of 14 patients treated for BKV-associated hemorrhagic cystitis experienced complete resolution of gross hematuria by week 6. Infusions were safe, and only two occurrences of de novo graft-versus host disease (grade 1) were observed. VST tracking by epitope profiling revealed persistence of functional VSTs of third-party origin for up to 12 weeks. Conclusion The use of banked VSTs is a feasible, safe, and effective approach to treat severe and drug-refractory infections after HSCT, including infections from two viruses (BKV and HHV-6) that had never been targeted previously with an off-the-shelf product. Furthermore, the multispecificity of the VSTs ensures extensive antiviral coverage, which facilitates the treatment of patients with multiple infections.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research