Efficacy and safety of the combination of reduced duration prophylaxis followed by immuno-guided prophylaxis to prevent cytomegalovirus disease in lung transplant recipients (CYTOCOR STUDY): an open-label, randomised, non-inferiority clinical trial

BMJ Open. 2019 Aug 15;9(8):e030648. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030648.


Introduction: Prolonged use of antivirals to prevent the development of cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in lung transplant patients has been shown to have significant side effects, for which alternatives are being sought to reduce their use. The monitoring of cell immunity against CMV could be an alternative as it has shown to be useful in identifying transplant patients at low risk of infection, who could benefit from shorter prophylaxis. The aim of the CYTOCOR study is to demonstrate that the combination of a reduced prophylaxis strategy with subsequent CMV-specific immunological monitoring would allow CMV infection to be controlled in lung transplant patients as effectively as the usual strategy (prophylaxis followed by pre-emptive therapy), while reducing the side effects of antivirals due to the shorter duration of prophylaxis.

Methods and analysis: Phase III randomised, open, multicentre, parallel, non-inferiority clinical trial to study the efficacy and safety of the combination of a prophylaxis strategy up to month +3 post-transplant followed by immuno-guided prophylaxis using the QuantiFERON-CMV technique up to month +12 post-transplant to prevent CMV disease in CMV-seropositive lung transplant recipients. This strategy will be compared with a combination of a usual prophylaxis strategy up to month +6 post-transplant followed by pre-emptive therapy up to month +12. To study the incidence of CMV disease, patients will be followed up to 18 months post-transplantation. A total of 150 patients are expected to be recruited for the study.

Ethics and public dissemination: The clinical trial has been approved by the Research Ethics Committees and authorised by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS).If the hypothesis of this clinical trial is verified, the dissemination of the results could change clinical practice by increasing knowledge about the safety and efficacy of discontinuing valganciclovir prophylaxis in lung transplant recipients.

Trial registration number: NCT03699254.

Keywords: cytomegalovirus; immuno-guided prophylaxis; lung transplantation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / immunology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Equivalence Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Premedication*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03699254