A Phase I/II Study of the Toxic and Therapeutic Effects of T Cells in the Treatment of Epstein Barr Virus-Associated Lymphoproliferative Disorders

Full Title

An Evaluation of the Toxicity and Therapeutic Effects of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-Immune T-Lymphocytes Derived From Normal HLA-Compatible or Haplotype-Matched Donor in the Treatment of EBV-Associated Lymphoproliferative Diseases or Malignancies and Patients with Detectable Circulating Levels of EBV DNA Who Are at High Risk for EBV-Associated Lymphoproliferative Diseases


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.


To be eligible for this study, patients must meet several criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Patients must have weakened immune systems due to the immune suppression associated with a bone marrow or organ transplant or treatment of a cancer; or have a severe genetic deficiency of immunity, EBV-related lymphoma, or lymphoproliferative disease; or be at high risk for developing such a disorder.
  • Patients must have a genetically matched or half-matched relative who is immune to EBV and willing to donate T cells, or a genetically matched unrelated bone marrow donor who is immune to EBV.

For more information about this study and to inquire about eligibility, please contact Dr. Susan Prockop at 212-639-6715.