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Tissue Antigens. 2004 Apr;63(4):285-92.

Treatment options for post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder and other Epstein-Barr virus-associated malignancies.

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The EBV Biology Laboratory, Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, The Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Post Office, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland 4029, Australia.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is associated with a range of malignancies that largely arise from a defect in EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) immunity and function. Much work has focused on the reconstitution of CTL immunity to EBV in transplant patients, in whom immunosuppression modalities render them susceptible to post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). Adoptive transfer of autologous CTLs is effective at both preventing and curing PTLD in solid organ transplant recipients and can produce a long-term memory response and protection against recurring disease. In this review, the benefits and restrictions of administering EBV-specific CTLs for the treatment of PTLD are discussed and compared with emerging therapies including the generation of allogeneic human leukocyte antigen-matched CTL banks and the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy, MabThera. Furthermore, studies involving other EBV-associated disorders have described the potential benefit of adoptive transfer of EBV-specific CTLs for Hodgkin's disease, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, chronic active EBV infection, and Burkitt's lymphoma. The challenges of tailor-making therapies for individual diseases and EBV antigen expression latencies are highlighted, in addition to considering vaccination strategies for optimal treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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