Rituximab (chimeric anti-CD20 antibody) for posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder after solid organ transplantation in adults: Long-term experience from a single center

Ashokkumar B. Jain, Amadeo Marcos, Renu Pokharna, Ron Shapiro, Paulo A. Fontes, Wallace Marsh, Ravi Mohanka, John J. Fung

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53 Scopus citations


Background. Occurrence of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) after transplantation is known. Drastic reduction or withdrawal of immunosuppression with anti-viral therapy for Ebstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the primary treatment for all PTLD. Many PTLD are B cell in origin have CD20 antigen on the cell surface. Rituximab is a chimeric anti CD20 antibody, which has been used to treat PTLD with variable success. This study aims to report long-term experience with rituximab for PTLD from a single center. Methods. Seventeen patients (13 male, 4 female, mean age 51.2 years) received rituximab to treat PTLD. Five patients received rituximab with drastic reduction in immunosuppression (primary). Nine patients received rituximab after failure of primary therapy (rescue) and three patients received it after resolution of PTLD (prophylactic). Mean follow-up period was 60 months. Results. Overall 1-, 3-, and 5-year patient survivals were 64.7%, 47.1% and 35.3%, respectively. In the primary group, three patients had complete and one had partial response; however, only two (40%) patients are currently alive. In the rescue group, none of the patients had a complete response, four patients had partial response, and only two (22%) patients are currently alive. In the prophylactic group, two patients died at 28 and 41 months due to recurrence and graft failure, respectively. Conclusion. Sixty percent (3 of 5) of patients who received rituximab as primary therapy had complete resolution, and 44% (4 of 9) of patients who received it as rescue therapy had partial response. Overall 5-year patient survival was a disappointing 35%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1692-1698
Number of pages7
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2005


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transplantation

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