Viral-specific T-cell transfer from HSCT donor for the treatment of viral infections or diseases after HSCT

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Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative option for treatment of some malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases. However, post-HSCT patients are severely immunocompromised and susceptible to viral infections, which are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Although antiviral agents are now available for most types of viral infections, they are not devoid of side effects and their efficacy is limited when there is no concomitant antiviral immune reconstitution. In recent decades, adoptive transfer of viral-specific T cells (VSTs) became an alternative treatment for viral infection after HSCT. However, two major issues are concerned in VST transfer: the risk of GVHD and antiviral efficacy. We report an exhaustive review of the published studies that focus on prophylactic and/or curative therapy by donor VST transfer for post-HSCT common viral infections. A low incidence of GVHD and a good antiviral efficacy was observed after adoptive transfer of VSTs from HSCT donor. Viral-specific T-cell transfer is a promising approach for a broad clinical application. Nevertheless, a randomized controlled study in a large cohort of patients comparing antiviral treatment alone to antiviral treatment combined with VSTs is still needed to demonstrate efficacy and safety.

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