MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Roy F Chemaly, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., F.I.D.S.A
Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases,
Director, Infection Control and Employee Health, Division of Internal Medicine
Director of the clinical virology research program,Department of infectious diseases
Infection control and employee health
The University of Texas MD Anderson
MedicalResearch.com: Would you briefly explain the significance of CMV infections? What is the background for this study?
Response: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the most important causes of infectious complications following organ transplantation and is a significant cause of illness and death in patients who have undergone allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). For more than 20 years, we have been managing this infection and trying to develop effective strategies to control it, but to no one’s satisfaction; CMV infection is still associated with significant morbidity and mortality in this high-risk population.
Most transplant centers have adopted preemptive antiviral therapy as the strategy of choice for HCT patients.1 While anti-CMV drugs have decreased the incidence of CMV diseases, their use for prophylaxis has not been associated with improved outcomes.1
Demographic and transplant trends heighten the need for new anti-CMV agents. In the U.S, 83% of people aged 60 and older are CMV seropositive. These older patients received 8% of all hematopoietic-cell transplants in 2000-2006, a figure that jumped to 22% in 2007-2013. As Baby Boomers age, many more allogeneic transplant patients will be CMV seropositive.
Therefore, prophylactic antiviral compounds that could effectively control viral replication, and restrict some pathologic processes of CMV diseases, could potentially lessen the complications associated with CMV infection and possibly reduce all-cause mortality.