Increased understanding of the mechanisms by which T lymphocytes recognize virus and tumor-specific antigens has fueled the use of adoptive immunotherapy for viral and malignant diseases. An ideal candidate for such treatment is Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is a serious complication post-solid organ transplant (SOT) or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). The disease is essentially the result of suppression of cytotoxic T-cell function and despite various treatment strategies the course may still be fulminant and lethal. Therefore, an adoptive immunotherapeutic approach using ex vivo derived EBV-specific CTL offers a promising solution not only for the treatment but also as prophylaxis for PTLD. The infusion of EBV-CTL has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in allogeneic HSCT recipients and their use post-SOT is being evaluated.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel