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Stem Cell Therapy Helps Combat Epstein-Barr Virus in Immunocompromised Patients

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), similar to other common viruses, remains in the body indefinitely after exposure and requires constant monitoring by the immune system in order to effectively to restrain it. Patients who have had a bone marrow transplant are often immunocompromised, and with a deficient immune system, these patients could develop a tumor or lymphoma from EBV-infected cells following a stem cell or organ transplant.

One effective treatment to combat these EBV-instigated tumors involves transplanting pre-formed T-cells from donors with immunity to the virus. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has developed cryobanks with over 300 pre-formed T-cell lines on-hand. Storing and using pre-formed T-cells is crucial to being able to quickly treat immunocompromised patients as they are prone to rapid and severe infection.

Susan Prockop, MD
Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplants: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center