Treatment for Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphomas

We are developing CMD-003 immune cells, which recognize and destroy cancer cells infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

EBV is a member of the herpes virus family. It is one of the most common types of viruses in humans and more than 90% of the world’s population is infected.

Primary EBV infection typically results in a mild disease. However, after the initial infection, the virus can become dormant and persist in the infected cells without showing any symptoms.

Lymphomas, a subset of blood cancers, are often associated with EBV. This makes this type of cancer a highly suitable candidate for EBV-specific treatment options.

These lymphomas can be grouped into Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with non-Hodgkin lymphoma being further classified into a variety of sub-types. In addition to lymphomas, EBV also plays a role in other malignancies.

Types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)

The most common sub-type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is DLBCL, which affects the cells of the immune system that produce antibodies.

Natural killer T-cell lymphoma (NKTCL)

NKTCL is rare and carries a poor prognosis in advanced stages. It is more common in Asia, but is also found throughout the world. NKTCL is almost always associated with EBV.

Other diseases associated with EBV

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)

NPCs is a specific form of head and neck cancer, developing from epithelial cells. The nasopharynx is the part of the throat at the back of the nose. “Naso” means nose and “pharynx” is the throat. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is rare in the Western world but more common in Asia.

Post-transplant Lymphoproliferative Disease (PTLD)

PTLD is a disease that often occurs after solid organ transplantation, but may also occur after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). PTLD is given its name as B cells are rapidly increasing in number beyond a health state due to the therapeutic immunosuppression after organ transplantation.