Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2020 Nov 30. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2021.1857720. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is widely prevalent but mostly harmless in immunocompetent individuals. In the post haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) setting unrestricted viral replication can cause end-organ damage (CMV disease) and, in a small proportion, mortality. Current management strategies are based on sensitive surveillance programmes, with the more recent introduction of an effective prophylactic antiviral drug, letermovir, but all aim to bridge patients until reconstitution of endogenous immunity is sufficient to constrain viral replication.
AREAS COVERED: Over the past 25 years, the adoptive transfer of CMV specific T-cells has developed from the first proof of concept transfer of CD 8+ T-cell clones, to the development of "off the shelf" third party derived Viral-Specific T-cells (VSTs). In this review, we cover the current management of CMV, and discuss the developments in CMV adoptive cellular therapy.
EXPERT OPINION: Due to the adoption of letermovir as a prophylaxis in standard therapy, the incidence of CMV reactivation is likely to decrease, and any widely adopted cellular therapy needs to be economically competitive. Current clinical trials will help to identify the patients most likely to gain the maximum benefit from any form of cell therapy.