Immunotherapy for Hodgkin's disease

C. M. Rooney, C. Bollard, M. H. Huls, B. Gahn, St Gottschalk, H. J. Wagner, R. Anderson, H. G. Prentice, Malcolm Brenner, Helen Heslop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


EBV proteins present in the malignant Hodgkin Reed-Sternberg (HR-S) cells of about 40% of patients with Hodgkin's Disease (HD) provide targets for immunotherapy with virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). However, Hodgkin tumors use multiple strategies to avoid CTL, including down-regulation of immunodominant EBV antigens, and secretion of cytokines and chemokines such as TGF-β, that inhibit the activation of CTL and professional antigen-presenting cells (APC). To be effective against this tumor, CTL must resist some or all of these strategies. Thirteen patients with multiply-relapsed HD received EBV-specific CTL, generated ex vivo using the autologous EBV-transformed B cells (LCL) as stimulator cells. After CTL infusion, EBV-specific immunity increased, virus load decreased, CTL homed to sites of malignancy and persisted for up to ten months. Clinically, CTL produced resolution of B symptoms and mixed tumor responses including one complete remission of residual disease remaining after autologous bone marrow transplant. However, no complete remission of bulky disease was achieved. Although LMP2-specific CTL activity could be detected in some of the infused CTL lines, they were present in low frequency. In preclinical studies, LMP1 and LMP2-specific CTL could be produced by stimulating PBMC from patients and normal donors with autologous dendritic cells expressing LMP1 or LMP2 from adenoviral vectors. Further, CTL could be rendered resistant to the devastating effects of TGF-β by transduction with a retrovirus vector expressing a dominant-negative TGF-β receptor, while transgenic IL-12 could increase the expression of Th1 and decrease that of Th2 cytokines. Future clinical studies will test the efficacy of CTL with improved antigen-specificity and resistance to Hodgkin immune evasion strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S39-S42
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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