Letermovir (Prevymis) Prevents CMV Infection in Stem Cell Transplant

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Francisco M. Marty, M.D Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Marty

Francisco M. Marty, M.D
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Dana–Farber Cancer Institute and
Brigham and Women’s Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common infection in patients who undergo allogeneic hematopoietic-cell transplantation (bone marrow transplantation with cells from donors different than the patient). Up until now, we had no antiviral agent that could be used for prophylaxis (prevention) of CMV post-transplant because of the side effects of drugs available to date (ganciclovir, valganciclovir, foscarnet, cidofovir).

This trial confirmed that letermovir was highly effective in preventing CMV infection when used in the first 100 days after allogeneic HCT, was associated with minimal side effects of concern and was also associated with lower all-cause mortality by Week 24 post-HCT.

Continue reading

CMV Infections Increase Complications and Costs After Stem Cell Transplantation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Jonathan Schelfhout, PhD Director, Outcomes Research Merck & Co. Inc. North Wales, PA

Dr. Schelfhout

Dr. Jonathan Schelfhout, PhD
Director, Outcomes Research
Merck & Co. Inc.
North Wales, PA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The cost of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation has received increased attention after it was identified as a top 10 contributor to increasing healthcare costs in an AHRQ 2016 report. Many recent studies have explored the cost of HSCT but additional research is needed on the costly complications that can follow the transplant procedure. This research is particularly relevant for inpatient decision makers, as most transplant centers receive one bundled payment for the transplant and the treatment of any complications over the first 100 days.

Continue reading

Letermovir Found Highly Effective In Preventing CMV Infection

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

Dr. Chemaly

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.

Continue reading

Prediction of Congenital CMV Infection in High-Risk Pregnant Women

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Kenji Tanimura M.D., Ph.D. Assistant professor Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology Graduate School of Medicine and Hideto Yamada M.D., Ph.D. Professor and Chairman Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine

Dr. Kenji Tanimura

Dr. Kenji Tanimura M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant professor
Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Graduate School of Medicine and
Hideto Yamada M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chairman Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can cause long-term neurological sequelae, such as hearing difficulties and mental retardations, in affected children. Some investigators reported that early diagnosis and antiviral therapy can improve neurological outcomes in symptomatic congenital infected infants. However, universal screening of newborns for congenital CMV infection is not yet available. Therefore, the development of non-invasive methods for prenatal detection of mothers and newborns at high risk for congenital CMV infection has been desired.

We aimed to determine maternal clinical, laboratory, and ultrasound findings that effectively predict the occurrence of congenital CMV infection in high-risk pregnant women, who were positive for CMV IgM.

We performed maternal blood screening for CMV IgG and IgM, and 300 IgM-positive pregnant women, including 22 with congenital CMV infection, received series of examinations. We evaluated maternal clinical and laboratory findings, including serum CMV IgM and IgG, IgG avidity index, antigenemia testing, and CMV-DNA PCR for the maternal serum, urine, and uterine cervical secretion, and prenatal ultrasound findings.

Continue reading

Study Does Not Support Significant Role of CMV Virus In Transplant Outcomes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Wilfried Gwinner Div. of Nephrology and Hypertension University of Hanover Medical School Hannover
Dr. Wilfried Gwinner
Div. of Nephrology and Hypertension
University of Hanover
Medical School Hannover and

Dr. Uta Erdbruegger Div. Nephrology and Hypertension Division University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Dr. Uta Erdbruegger

Div. Nephrology and Hypertension Division
University of Virginia, Charlottesville

 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Erdbruegger: Controversy exists whether CMV infections or viremia after kidney transplantation affect patient and graft survival.

We aimed to explore the role of CMV in a retrospective study on almost 600 patients followed at our transplant center over a period of up to 10 years post-transplant. The analysis included protocol biopsy findings and causes for graft failure and death.

We observed reduced patient and graft survival in patients with CMV as reported in some of the previous studies. However, we found that patients with CMV had an inferior kidney function and significant chronic allograft changes in the biopsies very early after transplantation – even before the CMV infection. Also, CMV infection was not specifically related to a progression of chronic changes. On the other hand, we confirmed well-established factors like inferior graft function early on, delayed graft function, and higher donor and recipient age as important for patient and graft survival. In none of these analyses, CMV was a significant factor. In summary, this suggests that CMV is rather an epiphenomenon. Alternatively, we might have missed a possible small effect of CMV in our statistics. In any case, our results do not support a significant role of CMV in patient and graft outcomes.
Continue reading