Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders: From epidemiology to pathogenesis-driven treatment

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Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) represent the most severe complication of both solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is the main driver of PTLD, particularly those occurring early after transplantation. EBV-driven malignancies are associated with selective expression of latent viral proteins, but uncontrolled lytic replication may favor early phases of cell transformation. Besides immunodepression, persistent immune activation and chronic inflammation play an important role in both virus reactivation and expansion of EBV-infected B cells. EBV-induced immortalization requires the expression of telomerase. TERT, the rate-limiting component of the telomerase complex, is central in the switch from the lytic to the latent viral program, and TERT inhibition induces the EBV lytic cycle and cell death. Immunotherapy and combination of EBV lytic cycle inducers with antiviral drugs are promising strategies to improve the treatment of PTLD patients. This review is aimed at providing an update on the intriguing association between EBV and PTLD, mainly focusing on cases arising after kidney and liver transplantation, which account for the vast majority of transplants.




Petrara, M. R., Giunco, S., Serraino, D., Dolcetti, R., & De Rossi, A. (2015, December 1). Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders: From epidemiology to pathogenesis-driven treatment. Cancer Letters. Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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