Expert Point of View: Suzanne Topalian, MD, and Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD


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Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD

This treatment can be delivered to multiple patients without inducing a ‘cytokine storm’ and with a very low incidence of graft-vs-host disease.

—Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD

Adoptive T-cell therapy has been around for decades. This is only done at specialized centers and individually prepared for each patient. For the first time, Dr. O’Reilly has reported on an off-the-shelf reagent for a devastating complication of bone marrow transplant,” stated Suzanne Topalian, MD, Director of the Melanoma Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Dr. Topalian moderated the press conference where Dr. O’Reilly presented the data.

Formal discussant of this trial, Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Hematology/Oncology and Director of Tumor Immunology at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, commended this study as “an outstanding body of work.”

He continued, “A 64% response rate shows the antitumor activity of third-party Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific [cytotoxic T lymphocytes] for EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorder. This treatment can be delivered to multiple patients without inducing a ‘cytokine storm’ and with a very low incidence of graft-vs-host disease. It is impressive that the cells expand in vivo after they are introduced, specifically in the patients who have a response…. The only limitation is that repeated dosing is needed [for third-party EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes].” ■

Disclosure: Drs. Topalian and Ribas reported no potential conflicts of interest.

 


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