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Eur J Haematol. 2004 Jan;72(1):64-6.

Treatment of refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia with Campath-1H in combination with lamivudine in chronic hepatitis B infection.

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Department of Haematology and Oncology, Humboldt-University Berlin, Germany.


Campath-1H, a monoclonal antibody against human CD52, is used for the therapy of refractory or relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Treatment with campath is associated with an increased incidence of infections and also fatal reactivation of viral infections. Reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in HBsAg-positive patients is a well-documented complication of cytotoxic or immunosuppressive therapy and has also been observed after treatment with rituximab. To date, there are no reports on campath treatment in HBsAg carriers. Here, we present the case of a patient with heavily pretreated CLL who was HBsAg-positive with a high virus load (>2 billion copies/mL). He required treatment because of progressive CLL with massive bone marrow infiltration, severe anemia and thrombocytopenia. Campath was initiated and lamivudine, an inhibitor of reverse transcriptase, was simultaneously given to prevent HBV proliferation. During the treatment, no deterioration of liver parameters was observed, and the virus load decreased. After therapy with campath, hemoglobin and platelet counts increased markedly. This report shows that lamivudine is highly effective in inhibiting HBV proliferation and can be used to prevent HBV flare-up during campath treatment in patients tested positive for HBs antigen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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