Year of Grant: 2016

Location: Australia


Stem cell transplant is a treatment used in the attempt to cure many
hematological cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Typically, infection is the most common problem after stem cell transplant, especially in the first 12 months when the recovering immune system is still immature.


Some infections such as Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epsteing Virus (EBV) arise from latency that develops in childhood or young adulthood. Studies show that the risk of acquiring a viral infection in a seronegative recipient from a CMV seropositive donor is about 30%.

A considerable amount of time and cost is spent in transplant recipients monitoring and actively treating infections before they cause clinical disease. If CMV, EBV or adenovirus infection develops, treatment with anti-viral
drugs is required. However, not all cases respond to antibiotics. Most importantly, anti-viral treatment does not alter the underlying immune deficiency that has allowed reactivation to develop.

The main objective of this phase 1 clinical trial is to determine the safety and efficacy of administering 3rd party partially HLA matched virus specific T cells for patients with initial viral infection after allogeneic stem cell transplant.


Specifically, the team aims to establish and characterize a bank of 3rd party allogeneic CMV, EBV and AdV specific T cells and demonstrate the safety
and efficacy of infusions of 3rd party CMV, EBV and adenovirus specific T cells in HSCT recipients at the time of initial infection after transplant. The target is to enroll 40 patients, with a projected accrual rate per month of 2

NOTE: This is one of three winning proposals for the 2016 RTFCCR/LLS International Research Grant to advance immunotherapy research for blood cancer. 

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: 3rd party T cells for previously untreated viral infection after stem cell transplant