Moving Past Ganciclovir and Foscarnet: Advances in CMV Therapy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: CMV DNA polymerase inhibitors such as ganciclovir and foscarnet have dramatically reduced the burden of CMV infection in the HCT recipient. However, their use is often limited by toxicities and resistance. Agents with novel mechanisms and favorable toxicity profiles are critically needed. We review recent developments in CMV antivirals and immune-based approaches to mitigating CMV infection. Recent Findings: Letermovir, an inhibitor of the CMV terminase complex, was approved in 2017 for primary CMV prophylaxis in adult seropositive allogeneic HCT recipients. Maribavir, an inhibitor of the CMV UL97 kinase, is currently in two phase 3 treatment studies. Adoptive immunotherapy using third-party T cells has proven safe and effective in preliminary studies. Vaccine development continues, with several promising candidates currently under study. Summary: No longer limited to DNA polymerase inhibitors, the prevention and treatment of CMV infections in the HCT recipient is a rapidly evolving field which should translate into improvements in CMV-related outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-102
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Hematologic Malignancy Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Antiviral
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Filociclovir
  • Hematopoietic cell transplant
  • Letermovir
  • Maribavir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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