Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools
Viral infection or reactivation remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. We now show that infusions of single cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) lines (5 x 10(6)-1.35 x 10(8) cells/m(2)) with specificity for 2 commonly detected viruses, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and adenovirus, can be safely administered to pediatric transplantation recipients receiving partially human leukocyte antigen-matched and haploidentical stem cell grafts (n = 13), without inducing graft-versus-host disease. The EBV-specific component of the CTLs expanded in vivo and persisted for more than 12 weeks, but the adenovirus-specific component only expanded in vivo in the presence of concomitant adenoviral infection. Nevertheless, adenovirus-specific T cells could be detected for at least 8 weeks in peripheral blood, even in CTL recipients without viral infection, provided the adenovirus-specific component of their circulating lymphocytes was first expanded by exposure to adenoviral antigens ex vivo. After infusion, none of these 13 high-risk recipients developed EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease, while 2 of the subjects had resolution of their adenoviral disease. Hence, bispecific CTLs containing both EBV- and adenovirus-specific T cells can safely reconstitute an antigen responsive "memory" population of CTLs after human leukocyte antigen-mismatched stem cell transplantation and may provide antiviral activity. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00590083.