Graft versus leukemia response without graft-versus-host disease elicited by adoptively transferred multivirus-specific T-cells

Mol Ther. 2015 Jan;23(1):179-83. doi: 10.1038/mt.2014.192. Epub 2014 Sep 30.


A 12-year-old boy with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia received a haploidentical transplant from his mother. As prophylaxis for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and adenovirus, he received ex vivo expanded virus-specific donor T cells 3.5 months after transplant. Four weeks later leukemic blasts bearing the E2A deletion, identified by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), appeared transiently in the blood followed by a FISH-negative hematological remission, which was sustained until a testicular relapse 3.5 months later. Clearance of the circulating leukemic cells coincided with a marked increase in circulating virus-specific T cells. The virus-specific cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) line showed strong polyfunctional reactivity with the patient's leukemic cells but not phytohemagglutinin (PHA) blasts, suggesting that virus-specific CTL lines may have clinically significant antileukemia activity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / immunology
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / immunology
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation*
  • Child
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression
  • Graft vs Leukemia Effect*
  • Haplotypes
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive*
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / immunology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / pathology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / therapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • TCF3 protein, human