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J Hematop. 2009 Jul;2(2):121-6. doi: 10.1007/s12308-009-0029-9. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

T cell lymphoproliferative disorders associated with anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha antibody therapy for ulcerative colitis: literature summary.

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Department of Pathology, M5240 Medical Science I, University of Michigan Medical School, 1301 Catherine Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0602 USA.


The enhanced risk of development of lymphoproliferative disorders in patients with inflammatory bowel disease has been attributed to immunosuppressive/immunomodulatory therapies. Infliximab is a chimeric monoclonal immunoglobulin G1 antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998 as an effective therapeutic agent against inflammatory bowel disease. Malignant lymphomas of both B and T cell lineage have been described in patients undergoing therapy involving TNF-α blockade. To date, eight cases of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-negative hepatosplenic T cell lymphoma associated with infliximab have been reported to the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System, as well as several other T cell lymphoproliferative disorders with aggressive clinical outcomes. We present the histologic, immunophenotypic, and molecular features of a T cell lymphoproliferative disorder involving the axillary lymph node of a 33-year-old male following infliximab treatment for ulcerative colitis. These EBV-negative lymphomas suggest that lymphoproliferative disorders following infliximab treatment for inflammatory bowel disease may involve EBV-independent immune dysregulation. The spectrum of lymphoproliferative disorders associated with infliximab and the potential mechanisms by which they occur are discussed.

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