Paper on PML published


Leo Rasche, MD, Junior Group Leader at the MSNZ, has published a paper on Progressive Multifocal Leukemia (PML) after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Progressive Multifocal Leukemia (PML) is caused by the JC virus (JCV) and leads to severe nerve damage and even death. The fatal reactivation of the pathogen from the group of polyomaviruses is triggered by the weakened immune system of the patient e.g. after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT).

To optimize therapy specificity and to prevent severe nerve damage, JCV specifc T-cells were enriched out of the donor T-cell repertoire by unstimulated peripheral apheresis. Despite low frequencies of responsive T cells, a product containing 20,000 JCV reactive T cells ready for patient infusion was generated. The adoptive cell transfer was performed without complication. Consequently, the clinical course stabilized and the patient slowly went into remission of PML with JCV negative cerebrospinal fluid and containment of PML lesion expansion.

For the first time feasibility of generating T-cells with possible anti-JCV activity from a seropositive family donor is demonstrated, representing a variation of virus specifc T-cell therapies suitable for the post allo-transplant setting. Furthermore, the unusual case for successful treatment of PML after allo-HCT via virus specifc T-cell therapy is presented.


The full text of the paper can be found here (Journal of Translational Medicine, PDF format).