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Giving Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Specific Killer T Lymphocytes to Patients Who Have Had Donor Marrow Grafts (ETNA)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00058812
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : April 15, 2003
Last Update Posted : January 29, 2015
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Helen Heslop, Baylor College of Medicine

Brief Summary:

Patients have a type of blood cell cancer or other blood problem that is very hard to cure with standard treatments and s/he will receive a bone marrow transplant. If the patient does not have a brother or sister whose marrow is a "perfect match", this bone marrow will come from a donor whose marrow is the best match available. This person may be a close relative or an unrelated person whose bone marrow best "matches" the patient's, and who agrees to donate marrow.

In normal people, the Epstein-Barr (EB) virus infection causes a flu like illness and usually gets better when the immune system controls the infection. The virus, however, remains hidden in the body for life. After a transplant, while the new immune system is growing back, the EB virus can come out and infect cells and cause them to grow in an uncontrolled manner. Patients can develop fevers, swollen lymph nodes and damage to other organs such as kidneys and lungs. This infection acts like a cancer because the cells infected with EB virus grow very quickly and there is no known effective treatment. This sort of infection will occur in between 10-30% of patients receiving a transplant from a donor who is not a perfect match, and has been fatal in nearly all these cases.

This infection occurs because the immune system cannot control the growth of the cells. We want to see if we can prevent it from happening or treat it by giving the patient a kind of white blood cell called T cells that we have grown from the marrow donor. These cells have been trained to attack EB virus infected cells. We will grow these T cells from blood taken from the donor at the time of bone marrow harvest. These T cells will be stimulated with the donor's EB virus-infected cells which have been treated with radiation so they cannot grow. After mixing these cells together we will be able to grow special T cells from the donor that can attack EB virus infected cells. We will then collect the T cells and make sure they can kill the virus infected cells. These EBV specific T cells are an investigational product not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Epstein-Barr Virus Infections Biological: EBV specific T cells Phase 1

Detailed Description:

We will obtain blood from the donor and will first make a B cell line called a lymphoblastoid cell line or LCL by infecting the blood with a laboratory strain of EBV called B95. We will then use this EBV-infected cell line (which have been treated with radiation so that they cannot grow) as stimulator cells and mix it with more blood. This stimulation will train the T cells to kill EBV infected cells and result in the growth of an EBV specific T cell line. We will then test the T cells to make sure that they kill the EBV infected cells and not the normal cells and freeze them.

The marrow donor's T cells will be thawed and injected through an intravenous line for a period of 10 minutes. The subject may be premedicated with diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). We would give one dose of the cells on or after day 45 following transplant if the subject agreed and was well enough. If the EBV DNA levels remain high or the subject has persistent disease, s/he may be eligible to receive up to 5 additional injections of T cells at the original dose at monthly intervals. After the subject has received the T cells, s/he will be contacted by the research nurse or another member of the study team weekly for 6 weeks, then once every three months for a year so that we can check on his/her progress.

We will continue to follow the subject in the BMT clinic after the injections. To learn more about the way the T cells are working, an extra 40 mls (about 8 teaspoonfuls) of blood will be taken pre-infusion, 4 hours after the infusion, 3-4 days post infusion (optional) and at 1, 2, 4 and 6 weeks after the T cell infusions, and then at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post infusion. The blood should come from the central intravenous line, and should not require extra needle sticks.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 69 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Administration of EBV Specific Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes to Recipients of Mismatched-Related or Phenotypically Similar Unrelated Donor Marrow Grafts
Study Start Date : May 1993
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2014

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: EBV specific T cells
EBV specific T cells
Biological: EBV specific T cells
One injection of 2x10^7 cells/m2 from Day 45 post transplant. If EBV DNA levels remain elevated above 1000 copies/ug or the patient has persistent disease they will be eligible to receive up to 5 additional injections of CTLs at the original dose at monthly intervals.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Safety of one intravenous injection of BMT donor derived EBV specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in BMT recipients at high risk. [ Time Frame: 1 year ]
  2. To compare the antiviral and immunological efficacy of a single dose of CTLs compared to the multiple dose regimens previously employed [ Time Frame: 1 year ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • All patients receiving a T cell depleted BMT from a mismatched family member or unrelated donor will be eligible for this protocol. In addition, patients receiving a matched sibling transplant or T replete transplant may be eligible if they are at high risk of developing EBV LPD because of their underlying disease (e.g Wiskott-Aldrich or Ataxia Telangiectasia) or have a past history of EBVLPD or other EBV associated malignancy.
  • O2 saturation > 90% on room air


- Exclusion criteria for BMT will be as detailed in the relevant protocol.

Exclusion criteria at time of administration CTLs:

  • Patients with GVHD of Grade II or greater.
  • Patients with severe renal disease (i.e., creatinine clearance less than half normal for age).
  • Patients with severe hepatic disease (bilirubin greater than twice normal, or SGOT greater than 3 x normal).
  • Patients with a severe intercurrent infection.
  • Patients with a life expectancy <6 weeks

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00058812

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United States, Texas
Houston Methodist Hospital
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Texas Children's Hospital
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Sponsors and Collaborators
Baylor College of Medicine
The Methodist Hospital Research Institute
Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine
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Principal Investigator: Helen E Heslop, MD Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Helen Heslop, Professor, Baylor College of Medicine Identifier: NCT00058812    
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00608309
Other Study ID Numbers: 6676-ETNA
First Posted: April 15, 2003    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: January 29, 2015
Last Verified: January 2015
Keywords provided by Helen Heslop, Baylor College of Medicine:
Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes
bone marrow transplant
EBV+ lymphoproliferative disease
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Epstein-Barr Virus Infections
Virus Diseases
Herpesviridae Infections
DNA Virus Infections
Tumor Virus Infections