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Curr Opin Oncol. 1999 Mar;11(2):96-101.

Lymphoproliferative disorders involving Epstein-Barr virus after hemopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Lymphoproliferative disorders involving uncontrolled expansion of donor-derived B cells infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are a significant problem after hemopoietic stem cell transplantation. Risk factors, which include T cell depletion, major histocompatibility complex mismatch, and intensity of immunosuppression illustrate the importance of T cell immune surveillance. Recent studies have identified viral and host factors that affect the T-cell response to EBV. Monitoring EBV load in the blood by polymerase chain reaction allows early identification of high-risk patients and early institution of therapy. Adoptive immunotherapy approaches using donor T cells have proven effective and EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes have also been used successfully for prophylaxis. The simplest way of preventing EBV lymphoproliferation, however, may be to deplete B cells from the donor marrow prior to infusion to prevent the transmission of EBV-infected B cells.

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