Generation of EBV-specific CTLs suitable for adoptive immunotherapy of EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease following allogeneic transplantation

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Lymphoproliferative disease induced by EBV (EBV-LPD) is a complication of allogeneic transplantation caused by T-cell immunodeficiency. EBV-LPD responds poorly to conventional treatment modalities. Recently, adoptive transfer of EBV-specific, HLA-class I-restricted CTL lines was shown to be effective both as prophylaxis and as treatment of EBV-LPD. The CTL lines are produced by in vitro selection of EBV-specific memory T cells contained in MNC of EBV-seropositive individuals by repeated stimulation with irradiated EBV-transformed cells. The non-EBV-reactive and potentially alloreactive cells remain unactivated. Twenty-one CTL lines were initiated. All were successfully generated and shown to be HLA-restricted and EBV-specific as well as CD8/CD4 and CD45RO positive T cells. The majority of the CTL lines were generated from BMT donors, but two CTL lines were obtained from solid organ transplant recipients receiving immunosuppression. Evidence of probable in vivo efficacy is presented. Development of efficient adoptive T-cell strategies for EBV-positive malignancies could serve as a model for treatment of other viral or malignant disorders.

Keywords: EBV; cytotoxic T cells; immunotherapy; transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: The Lymphocyte Research Laboratory, Department of Hematology, The Finsen Center, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Publication date: February 1, 2002

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