Adoptive T-cell therapy for EBV-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease

Acta Haematol. 2003;110(2-3):139-48. doi: 10.1159/000072463.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / immunology
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / therapy*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / virology*
  • Postoperative Complications / immunology
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Postoperative Complications / virology
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Transplants*