International Journal of Hematology

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 281–293 | Cite as

Immunotherapy for EBV-associated malignancies

  • Anna Merlo
  • Riccardo Turrini
  • Riccardo Dolcetti
  • Paola Zanovello
  • Antonio Rosato
Progress in Hematology Cancer immunology


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.




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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Hematology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Merlo
    • 1
  • Riccardo Turrini
    • 1
  • Riccardo Dolcetti
    • 2
  • Paola Zanovello
    • 1
    • 3
  • Antonio Rosato
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Oncology and Surgical SciencesUniversity of PadovaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Cancer Bio-Immunotherapy Unit, Department of Medical OncologyCRO, IRCCS, National Cancer InstituteAvianoItaly
  3. 3.Istituto Oncologico Veneto, IOV-IRCCSPaduaItaly

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