Adoptive Immunotherapy with Allogeneic Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-Specific Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes for Recurrent, EBV-Positive Hodgkin Disease

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND. It has been shown that adoptive immunotherapy with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) is effective for the treatment of EBV-induced lymphoproliferative disease in stem cell transplantation recipients and organ transplantation recipients. The role of EBV CTL in other tumors for which this virus has been implicated in pathogenesis, such as EBV-positive Hodgkin disease (HD), has not been demonstrated clearly. METHODS. To investigate the antitumor effects and toxicity of allogeneic EBV CTL in EBV-positive HD, the authors initiated a pilot trial in which EBV CTL were cultured from allogeneic, partially human leukocyte antigen-matched donors and were infused into patients who had therapy-refractory disease. The first cohort of 3 patients (Cohort I) received 3 separate infusions of EBV CTL (5.0 × 106 EBV CTL/kg per dose), and the second cohort (Cohort II) received 30 mg/m2 per day of fludarabine for 3 days followed by a single CTL infusion (1.5 × 10 7 EBV CTL/kg). RESULTS. All three patients in Cohort I had decreases in measurable disease after EBV CTL infusions, and one of those patients was without evidence of disease 22 months after infusion. Two of 3 patients in Cohort II had decreases in measurable disease, although it was not determined whether those decreases were related to fludarabine or to CTLs, and 1 patient in Cohort II had 7 months without disease progression. Unlike the patients in Cohort I, fludarabine recipients did not have increases in antidonor CTL responses. Donor cells could not be detected in any of the CTL recipients. CONCLUSIONS. Adoptive immunotherapy with allogeneic EBV CTL was safe for patients with recurrent, refractory, EBV-positive HD; and clinical responses may be observed without the establishment of detectable donor lymphoid chimerism. © 2004 American Cancer Society.
  • Published In

  • Cancer  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lucas KG; Salzman D; Garcia A; Sun Q
  • Start Page

  • 1892
  • End Page

  • 1901
  • Volume

  • 100
  • Issue

  • 9