Expert Point of View: Partow Kebriaei, MD

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Partow Kebriaei, MD, Professor in the Department of Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapy at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, commented on the findings presented by Marty et al for The ASCO Post.

“In this multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled study, the use of letermovir (AIC246) significantly reduced the rate of clinically significant cytomegalovirus in patients undergoing transplant. Most importantly for our patients, it reduced the rate of nonrelapse mortality by week 24, from 11% to 7% (P = .03),” Dr. Kebriaei noted.

“Furthermore, the benefit in the reduction of clinically significant cytomegalovirus through day 100 posttransplant was most notable in the haploidentical group receiving letermovir, who had a 50% [absolute] reduction in rate compared with placebo, with the caveat that the number of [haploidentical stem cell recipients] in the placebo group was small (n = 15),” she added. “Still, this is an important finding as we increase our use of haploidentical hematopoietic cell transplants. Finally, despite associations with cytomegalovirus, the rate of graft-vs-host disease was not different between the letermovir and placebo groups.” ■

Disclosure: Dr. Kebriaei reported no potential conflicts of interest.

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