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Ann Pharmacother. 2007 Oct;41(10):1648-59. Epub 2007 Sep 11.

Role of chemotherapy and rituximab for treatment of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder in solid organ transplantation.

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1
College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the role of chemotherapy and/or rituximab for treatment of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) in solid organ transplantation.

DATA SOURCES:

A MEDLINE search (1966-May 2007) was conducted using the key words posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder, solid organ transplantation, chemotherapy, and rituximab. References of relevant articles and abstracts from recent hematology, oncology, and transplantation scientific meetings (2004-May 2007) were also reviewed.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION:

Prospective and retrospective studies identified from the data sources were evaluated, and all information deemed relevant was included for this review.

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Overall response rates ranged from 53% to 68%, 25% to 83%, and 74% to 100% for rituximab monotherapy, chemotherapy, and chemotherapy plus rituximab, respectively. Positive response to treatment was influenced by prognostic factors, including presence of Epstein-Barr virus in tumor cells, normal lactate dehydrogenase levels, good performance status, early disease onset after transplantation, and early disease stages. These factors in study patients likely contribute to the variability in response rates seen between treatment options. Severe adverse effects, ranging from grade 3 neutropenia to infection resulting in death, occurred more frequently in patients receiving chemotherapy than in patients receiving only rituximab.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although reduction in immunosuppressive medications remains the first-line therapy for PTLD treatment, many cases do not respond to this treatment alone, especially monomorphic or more aggressive cases of lymphoma. Therefore, it is reasonable to begin active treatment including rituximab and/or chemotherapy initially, along with reduction in immunosuppression in many cases. Further prospective, comparative studies are urgently needed to confirm the efficacy of these treatment strategies as well as to clarify which subset of patients may benefit most from them.

PMID:
17848421
DOI:
10.1345/aph.1K175
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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