Epstein-Barr virus-specific adoptive immunotherapy for progressive MS

Treatment, therapies and management:

It has been postulated that defective elimination of EBV-infected B cells by cytotoxic CD8+ T cells predisposes to MS by allowing EBV-infected autoreactive B cells to accumulate in the central nervous system. Based on this, one can hypothesise that adoptive immunotherapy to boost EBV-specific CD8+ T-cell immunity might be an effective treatment for MS.

This study group reports the use of adoptive immunotherapy with in vitro-expanded autologous EBV-specific CD8+ T cells directed against viral latent proteins.  The adoptive immunotherapy had no adverse effects. There was an improvement in the patients’ symptoms and signs, which was supported by the reduction in disease activity on MRI and by the reduction in intrathecal IgG production.  

These effects can be explained by the killing of EBV-infected B cells in the CNS by the adoptively transferred CD8+ T cells. A clinical trial is needed to determine therapeutic efficacy across the clinical spectrum of MS.

: Pender MP, Csurhes PA
Source: Mult Scler. 2014 Feb 3. [Epub ahead of print]
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