Adoptive immunotherapy for posttransplantation viral infections

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2004 Mar;10(3):143-55. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2003.09.017.


Viral diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality after hemopoietic stem cell transplantation. Because viral complications in these patients are clearly associated with the lack of recovery of virus-specific cellular immune responses, reconstitution of the host with in vitro expanded cytotoxic T lymphocytes is a potential approach to prevent and treat these diseases. Initial clinical studies of cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus in human stem cell transplant patients have shown that adoptively transferred donor-derived virus-specific T cells may restore protective immunity and control established infections. Preclinical studies are evaluating this approach for other viruses while strategies for generating T cells specific for multiple viruses to provide broader protection are being evaluated in clinical trials. The use of genetically modified T cells or the use of newer suicide genes may result in improved safety and efficacy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / transplantation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / transplantation
  • Female
  • Gene Targeting
  • Graft vs Host Disease / etiology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / immunology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / transplantation
  • Virus Diseases / etiology
  • Virus Diseases / immunology*
  • Virus Diseases / therapy*


  • Antigens, Viral