Donor-derived CD19-targeted T cells in allogeneic transplants

Curr Opin Hematol. 2015 Nov;22(6):497-502. doi: 10.1097/MOH.0000000000000178.


Purpose of review: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is still partially ineffective in curing high-risk hematological malignancies, with estimates of relapse rates ranging from 40 to 50%. The purpose of this review is to discuss the emerging therapeutic options for patients with relapsed disease following HSCT based on adoptive immunotherapy using donor-derived T cells genetically engineered to express CD19-specific chimeric antigen receptors (CARs).

Recent findings: Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with CAR-modified T cells represents an attractive therapeutic option for further enhancing the graft-versus-leukemia effect. However, CAR-modified T cells are often obtained using apheresis products collected from the patient's own blood, a procedure that has hindered the application of CAR-based therapies into the clinic. Alternative approaches rely on CAR T cells derived from donors rather than the patient's own blood. Therefore, it appears that overcoming the practical limitation of allogeneic T cell-induced graft versus-host-disease is a key to providing access to CAR immunotherapy to all eligible patients.

Summary: Donor-derived CD19-CAR T cells may advance the field of CAR immunotherapy by controlling relapse in leukemic patients and improving the range of applications of ACT protocols.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD19 / immunology*
  • Graft vs Host Disease / immunology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / therapy*
  • Graft vs Leukemia Effect / immunology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / transplantation*
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Antigens, CD19