CMV management with specific immunoglobulins: A multicentric retrospective analysis on 92 allotransplanted patients

Michele Malagola, Raffaella Greco, Stella Santarone, Annalisa Natale, Anna Paola Iori, Luisa Quatrocchi, Walter Barbieri, Antonella Bruzzese, Salvatore Leotta, Alessandra Carotti, Antonio Pierini, Simona Bernardi, Enrico Morello, Nicola Polverelli, Alessandro Turra, Federica Cattina, Lisa Gandolfi, Benedetta Rambaldi, Francesca Lorentino, Francesca SerioGiuseppe Milone, Andrea Velardi, Robin Foà, Fabio Ciceri, Domenico Russo, Jacopo Peccatori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


CMV represents one of the most severe life-threatening complications of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT). Pre-emptive treatment is highly effective, but toxicity and repetitive reactivation of CMV represent a significant challenge in the clinical practice. The use of anti-CMV specific immunoglobulins (Megalotect) is controversial. We retrospectively collected data on 92 patients submitted to allo-SCT for hematological malignancies, in whom Megalotect was used either for prophylaxis (n=14) or with pre-emptive therapy, together with an anti-CMV specific drug (n=78). All the patients were considered at high-risk, due to the presence of at least one risk factor for CMV reactivation. The treatment was well tolerated, with no reported infusion reactions, nor other adverse events, none of the 14 cases treated with Megalotect as prophylaxis developed CMV reactivation. 51/78 (65%) patients who received Megalotect during pre-emptive treatment achieved complete clearance of CMV viremia, and 14/51 patients (29%) developed a breakthrough CMV infection. 7/78 patients (9%) developed CMV disease. The projected 1-year OS, 1-year TRM, and 1-year RR is 74%, 15%, and 19%, respectively. No differences were observed in terms of OS, TRM, and RR by comparing patients who achieved a complete response after treatment versus those who did not. These retrospective data suggest that Megalotect is safe and well-tolerated. When used as prophylaxis, no CMV reactivation was recorded. Further prospective trials are warranted to identify the best set of patients who can benefit from Megalotect alone or in addition to anti-CMV specific drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2019048
JournalMediterranean Journal of Hematology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • CMV disease
  • CMV infection
  • Pre-emptive treatement
  • Prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Infectious Diseases


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