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Donor-derived, CD19+, virus-specific T cells to treat B cell cancers

Donor-derived, CD19+, virus-specific T cells could be used to treat B cell cancers and associated viral infections. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with B cell cancers and can be found replicating in B cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from donors were infected with EBV, transduced with a viral vector encoding a CD19+ chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) that contained a CD28 co-stimulatory molecule and then expanded to generate T cells. In relapsed patients that had previously undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for B cell malignancies, the T cells showed antitumor activity in five of six patients and resulted in one complete remission, one partial remission, one case of stable disease and no graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). In two of three patients with EBV reactivation, the T cells expanded and showed antiviral activity. Next steps could include using the T cell therapy in relapsed patients that are lymph depleted or who have received viral vaccines.

SciBX 6(41); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.1173
Published online Oct. 24, 2013

Patent and licensing status undisclosed

Cruz, C.R.Y. et al. Blood; published online Sept. 12, 2013;
Contact: Gianpietro Dotti, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas