Epstein-Barr virus-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder after allogeneic stem cell transplantation

  • Sanz J
  • Andreu R
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Purpose of review Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder is an increasingly lifethreatening complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation with the use of more complex transplant procedures. Recent findings Reduced intensity conditioning regimens in combination with in-vivo or ex-vivo T-cell depletion are particularly important risk factors. Prospective monitoring of EBV viremia by real-time quantitative polymerase-chain reaction (PCR) should be performed after high-risk allogeneic stem cell transplantation. However, lack of standardization and concerns about sensitivity and low positive-predictive value challenge the interpretation of PCR monitoring. Preemptive treatment is feasible and can reduce EBV-related mortality but may lead to overtreatment in some patients. Readily available rituximab and methods of adoptive transfer of T-cells are valuable tools. Rituximab is probably the most attractive agent showing the most robust data in this setting. Rituximab seems to offer a good balance between efficacy and toxicity for the treatment of established EBV-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder. But most often there is a need to combine with adoptive immunotherapy with T-cells to maintain long-term disease control, with either simple unmanipulated donor lymphocyte infusion or more specific and complex adoptive EBV-specific cytotoxic T-cells. Summary EBV-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder can often be prevented or treated, especially in earlier stages. The specific role and timing of the different treatment strategies need to be defined.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Epstein Barr virus
  • Epstein Barr virus infection
  • T cell depletion
  • T lymphocyte
  • adoptive immunotherapy
  • adoptive transfer
  • allogeneic stem cell transplantation
  • cell nucleus antigen
  • computer assisted tomography
  • consensus
  • cytarabine
  • cytokine
  • cytokine production
  • donor lymphocyte infusion
  • ex vivo study
  • flow cytometry
  • ganciclovir
  • high risk patient
  • human
  • hydroxyurea
  • immunocompromised patient
  • in vivo study
  • infection risk
  • malignant transformation
  • membrane protein
  • methotrexate
  • mortality
  • multiple organ failure
  • nonhuman
  • patient monitoring
  • positron emission tomography
  • posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease
  • practice guideline
  • predictive value
  • priority journal
  • real time polymerase chain reaction
  • reduced intensity conditioning
  • review
  • rituximab
  • sensitivity and specificity
  • splenectomy
  • standardization
  • suicide gene
  • viremia
  • virus pathogenesis

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  • J Sanz

  • R Andreu

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