Genovefa Papanicolaou, MD, Infectious Disease Specialist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY, NY, was interviewed by Yael Waknine of Univadis at the TCT meeting held February 20-24, 2019, in Houston, TX.
- Resistant/refractory cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a major challenge with limited treatment options in stem cell transplant recipients; current therapies are toxic and infusions often inconvenient.
- Maribavir, an oral antiviral without myelosuppressive or myelotoxic effects, targets viral DNA packaging and egress rather than replication.
- In a phase 2 dose-ranging study, about two-thirds of patients had cleared CMV viremia by week 6.
- Maribavir is now in phase 3 trials for resistant/refractory CMV, and also as preemptive therapy for CMV viremia.
- Adding maribavir to the CMV armamentarium — alongside CMV-specific T-cells, letermovir prophylaxis, and currently available antivirals — will allow individualized therapy for optimal patient outcomes and quality of life, Dr. Papanicolaou noted.
- "In 2019 we should not only be looking to have the patient alive, but we should also look at patient-centered outcomes," Dr. Papanicolaou emphasized.