Immunotherapy for EBV-associated malignancies
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- Merlo, A., Turrini, R., Dolcetti, R. et al. Int J Hematol (2011) 93: 281. doi:10.1007/s12185-011-0782-2
Since 1995 to date, more than 250 patients with EBV-related diseases received virus-specific CTL. Cell therapy proved to be safe and effective, and achieved some complete remissions also in patients who failed all previous standard treatments. The first clinical results with EBV-specific CTL were obtained for both prophylaxis and treatment of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease arising in stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant recipients. Based on such encouraging results, the same approach was then extended to other EBV-related diseases, namely Hodgkin’s lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and chronic active infection. Nowadays, the modification of the CTL generation protocols and the introduction of new specificities into EBV-specific CTL lines by chimeric antigen receptor transfer allow targeting other viral infections and also non-EBV related malignancies. Aim of this review is to summarize clinical results obtained thus far in adoptive cell therapy approaches with EBV-specific CTL. Moreover, by analyzing ongoing clinical trials, we also provide some insights on the potential future of a successful and paradigmatic history.