Adoptive T cell therapy has had dramatic successes in the treatment of virus-related malignancies and infections following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We adapted this method to produce ex vivo expanded HIV-specific T cells (HXTCs), with the long-term goal of using HXTCs as part of strategies to clear persistent HIV infection. In this phase 1 proof-of-concept study (NCT02208167), we administered HXTCs to antiretroviral therapy (ART)-suppressed, HIV-infected participants. Participants received two infusions of 2 × 107 cells/m2 HXTCs at a 2-week interval. Leukapheresis was performed at baseline and 12 weeks post-infusion to measure the frequency of resting cell infection by the quantitative viral outgrowth assay (QVOA). Overall, participants tolerated HXTCs, with only grade 1 adverse events (AEs) related to HXTCs. Two of six participants exhibited a detectable increase in CD8 T cell-mediated antiviral activity following the two infusions in some, but not all, assays. As expected, however, in the absence of a latency reversing agent, no meaningful decline in the frequency of resting CD4 T cell infection was detected. HXTC therapy in ART-suppressed, HIV-infected individuals appears safe and well tolerated, without any clinical signs of immune activation, likely due to the low residual HIV antigen burden present during ART.
Keywords: HIV; cell therapy; latency.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.