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Possibly lifesaving therapy in refractory PML

Presented By
Dr Erin Beck, National Institute of Health in Bethesda, USA
AAN 2019
Transfer of anti-polyomavirus-specific T cells (PyVSTs) from healthy related donors is feasible and safe as adoptive immunotherapy of severely immunocompromised patients with refractory progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). Encouraging results in 12 patients suggest PyVSTs may be a lifesaving therapy [1]. PML is an opportunistic infection of the central nervous system caused by activation of the JC polyomavirus (JCV) in immunosuppressed patients. “Until now, there has been no treatment for PML, which is almost like a death sentence for the patient”, explained Dr Erin Beck (National Institute of Health in Bethesda, USA). “Basically, what we did was borrow immune cells from close relatives of the patients and make them active against the JVC.” Dr Beck's group used peptide libraries derived from BK Large T (LT) and Viral Protein 1 (VP1) that are highly cross-reactive with the structurally homologous JC proteins. PyVSTs were then generated from fir...

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