This study will evaluate a therapy for the treatment of a blood disorder caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), the same virus that causes infectious mononucleosis. This blood disease, called EBV-lymphoproliferative disorder, occurs when a type of white blood cell, called a B cell, divides uncontrollably in the liver, lung, brain, or other vital organ. This disorder can be life threatening, and conventional cancer therapies often are not successful against it.
An EBV-lymphoproliferative disorder can develop in patients with weakened immune systems, such as those who have received bone marrow transplants or organ transplants. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering and at several other institutions, successful treatment of this disorder occurred in a small number of bone marrow transplant patients who received infusions of white blood cells taken from their bone marrow donors who were immune to Epstein-Barr virus. Based on these studies, Memorial Sloan-Kettering doctors want to learn whether donor white blood cells immune to EBV can be grown and treated in the laboratory to increase the number of EBV-immune cells and to reduce the number of cells that may react against a patient’s tissues (a process called graft-versus-host disease) or against a transplanted organ following a heart, lung, kidney, or liver transplant. Patients in the study will receive intravenous infusions of white blood cells, called T cells, which are immune to EBV.