Cytotoxic T lymphocyte cell therapy for post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder in the central nervous system

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Published: 13 Dec 2018
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Prof Mohamad Mohty - Saint-Antoine Hospital, Paris, France

Prof Mohamad Mohty speaks to ecancer at ASH 2018 about a study looking into cell therapy using cytotoxic T lymphocytes to treat Epstein–Barr virus related post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) in the central nervous system.

He explains that, until now, if the usual treatment was not a success there was no viable second option.

Prof Mohty reveals that the results of the study have shown a significant response rate of over 60% and also a number of complete remissions.

In this ASH 2018 annual meeting we’ve seen the presentation of a very nice study looking into the results of CTL, cytotoxic T lymphocyte, directed against EBV in EBV PTLD with the CNS localisation. This is actually very exciting because this is unfortunately an unmet medical need – when these patients fail the standard usual treatment actually we do not have much tools to intervene. This is where the results of this study are very exciting, showing a very high response rate above 60% with a significant number of complete remissions and extended survival. So definitely this is great news for this relatively rare entity with little therapeutic options, highlighting clearly the power of cellular therapy these days. This is quite amazing I would say.

So far 19 patients were reported at this annual meeting but obviously there is a follow up and more patients will be treated in the near future. The advent of cellular therapies directed against EBV PTLD is really a very important step because we’ve been struggling with this relatively rare complication for many years and actually this approach is proving both effective and safe. So this is really very exciting. Obviously we will need to have also phase III trials, this is ongoing, but definitely the already available results are clearly showing that the treatment strategy is likely to be the right one and we are on the right track.