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T cell therapies for human polyomavirus diseases

  • Sarah I. Davies
    Affiliations
    Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA
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  • Pawel Muranski
    Correspondence
    Correspondence: Pawel Muranski, MD, 650 West 168th Street, Black Building, 8th Floor, RM 801-D, New York, NY 10032, USA.
    Affiliations
    Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

    Columbia Center for Translational Immunology, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
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Published:September 16, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcyt.2017.08.011

      Abstract

      Rapid restoration of virus-specific T immunity via adoptive transfer of ex vivo generated T cells has been proven as a powerful therapy for patients with advanced cancers and refractory viral infections such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). BK virus (BKV), John Cunningham virus (JCV), and Merkel cell carcinoma virus (MCV) are the members of the rapidly growing human polyomavirus (hPyV) family that commonly infects most healthy humans. These viruses have a clearly established potential for causing severe end-organ damage or malignant transformation, especially in individuals with weakened immunity who are unable to mount or regain endogenous T-cell responses as a result of underlying leukemia or iatrogenic immunosuppression in autoimmunity, bone marrow and solid organ transplant settings. Here we will discuss recent advances in using T-cell–based immunotherapies to save patients suffering from PyV-associated diseases including hemorrhagic cystitis, BKV virus–associated nephropathy, and JC-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). We will also review progress in the understanding of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) as a virally driven tumor that is amenable to immune intervention and can be targeted with adoptively transferred T cells specific for viral oncoproteins.

      Key Words

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