Dr. Marty on Letermovir for CMV Prevention After Stem Cell Transplant

Francisco Marty, MD
Published: Sunday, Feb 26, 2017



Francisco M. Marty, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the initial results of the phase III clinical trial evaluating letermovir to prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

CMV is the most common infection that occurs after stem cell transplants. In the United State, the prevalence of CMV infection is approximately 50% to 60%. Because of drugs given during transplants, the virus has the opportunity to come out of latency. 

In this phase III trial, researchers found that letermovir was effective in preventing CMV, compared with placebo, when given early after transplant and through day 100 after the transplant. Prevention persisted up to week 24 after the transplant. At week 24 post transplant, CMV was developed by 38% of those in the letermovir arm versus 61% in the placebo group (P <.0001). Additionally, there was lower mortality in patients who received letermovir compared to those who received the placebo.


Francisco M. Marty, MD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the initial results of the phase III clinical trial evaluating letermovir to prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.

CMV is the most common infection that occurs after stem cell transplants. In the United State, the prevalence of CMV infection is approximately 50% to 60%. Because of drugs given during transplants, the virus has the opportunity to come out of latency. 

In this phase III trial, researchers found that letermovir was effective in preventing CMV, compared with placebo, when given early after transplant and through day 100 after the transplant. Prevention persisted up to week 24 after the transplant. At week 24 post transplant, CMV was developed by 38% of those in the letermovir arm versus 61% in the placebo group (P <.0001). Additionally, there was lower mortality in patients who received letermovir compared to those who received the placebo.

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