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Blood. 2010 Apr 1;115(13):2695-703. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-09-242263. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

Derivation of human T lymphocytes from cord blood and peripheral blood with antiviral and antileukemic specificity from a single culture as protection against infection and relapse after stem cell transplantation.

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Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX, USA.


Viral infections and leukemic relapse account for the majority of treatment failures in patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) receiving allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) or cord blood (CB) transplants. Adoptive transfer of virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) provides protection against common viruses causing serious infections after HSC transplantation without concomitant graft-versus-host disease. We have now generated CTL lines from peripheral blood (PB) or CB units that recognize multiple common viruses and provide antileukemic activity by transgenic expression of a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting CD19 expressed on B-ALL. PB-derived CAR(+) CTLs produced interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) in response to cytomegalovirus-pp65, adenovirus-hexon, and Epstein-Barr virus pepmixes (from 205 +/- 104 to 1034 +/- 304 spot-forming cells [SFCs]/10(5) T cells) and lysed primary B-ALL blasts in (51)Cr-release assays (mean, 66% +/- 5% specific lysis; effector-target [E/T] ratio, 40:1) and the CD19(+) Raji cell line (mean, 78% +/- 17%) in contrast to nontransduced controls (8% +/- 8% and 3% +/- 2%). CB-derived CAR(+) CTLs showed similar antiviral and antitumor function and both PB and CB CAR(+) CTLs completely eliminated B-ALL blasts over 5 days of coculture. This approach may prove beneficial for patients with high-risk B-ALL who have recently received an HSC or CB transplant and are at risk of infection and relapse.

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