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Blood. 2001 Dec 1;98(12):3473-5.

Long-term remission of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-related multicentric Castleman disease with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy.

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  • 1Institute of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, University of Milan, Italy. mcorbell@mailserver.unimi.it


Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-related multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) is potentially lethal. Growing evidence indicates that, as in Epstein-Barr virus-driven lymphoproliferative disorders after transplantation, KSHV DNA burden in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) may represent the most accurate marker of disease activity. This report describes a patient with human immunodeficiency virus who was followed up clinically and by quantitative polymerase chain reaction for KSHV DNA sequences in PBMCs for more than 3 years following the diagnosis of KSHV-related MCD. Therapy with the antiherpesvirus agent cidofovir, antihuman interleukin-6 antibody BE-8, antiblastic chemotherapy, and combination antiretroviral agents did not achieve durable clinical or virologic remission of the disease. By contrast, administration of the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab was well tolerated and allowed a 14-month remission of clinical symptoms and KSHV viremia. Rituximab should be added to the therapeutic armamentarium for KSHV-related MCD.

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