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Transplantation. 2002 Oct 27;74(8):1095-102.

Lymphomas occurring late after solid-organ transplantation: influence of treatment on the clinical outcome.

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  • 1Division of Hematology, Ospedali Riuniti of Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy. gianpietrodotti@usa.net



Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) that occur late after solid-organ transplantation are usually a monoclonal proliferation frequently characterized by the lack of the Epstein-Barr virus genome in tumor cells. The clinical outcome and the best management for patients who present with late PTLDs still remain unclear.


Thirty patients who developed PTLDs more than 12 months (range 13-156) after heart, kidney, or liver transplantation were retrospectively evaluated. Median age was 36.7 years (range 1-70). Fifty-five percent of patients presented with advanced-stage (III-IV) lymphoma, 43% of patients presented with B symptoms, and 40% of patients showed extranodal involvement. Twenty-four cases (75%) were categorized as monoclonal monomorphic PTLD.


Three patients died of progressive multiorgan failure before any treatment was initiated. Overall, 17 (63%) patients obtained a clinical response (14 patients had complete remission [CR] and 3 patients had partial remission [PR]). Eight (47%) patients are still alive and in CR, two (12%) patients died in CR, and seven (41%) patients relapsed. With a median follow-up of 6 months (range 0.5-42.8), the median overall survival was 6.2 months. Both clinical response and survival were significantly influenced by the treatment. Indeed, all patients treated for limited disease with surgery or radiotherapy in combination with modulation of immunosuppression obtained CR and are still alive and in CR. On the contrary, 33% of patients who received chemotherapy obtained a clinical response, whereas 15% of patients who received chemotherapy showed progressive disease and 50% of patients who received chemotherapy died of toxicity (infectious or multiorgan failure).


We suggest that patients with late PTLDs and limited disease may benefit from local treatment. For patients who require chemotherapy, we suggest that it should be administered to minimize the risk of infection complications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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