Results of a previous phase I study suggested that a single 3 mg/m2 dose of the humanized non-FcR-binding anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody visilizumab (Nuvion) was well tolerated and had efficacy for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We now report results of a multicenter phase II study in which visilizumab was given to 44 participants with steroid-refractory acute GVHD. Eighty-two percent of the participants had visceral involvement, and 86% had overall grade III or IV acute GVHD at study entry. The respective complete and overall response rates were 14% and 32% at 42 days. Plasma Epstein-Barr virus DNA increased to more than 1000 copies per milliliter in 19 subjects. Seventeen received rituximab, and no fatal lymphoproliferative disorders were observed. Survival at 180 days was 32% (95% confidence interval, 18%-46%). The administration of visilizumab as used in this study seems to be sufficiently safe and effective to warrant further assessment for treatment or prevention of GVHD.
- Graft-versus-host disease
- Hematopoietic cell transplantation
- Monoclonal antibody
- Steroid refractory