Clinical Trial
Comparative Study
Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
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Low-dose chemotherapy for Epstein-Barr virus-positive post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disease in children after solid organ transplantation.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of a low-dose chemotherapy regimen in children with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) -positive, post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) after organ transplantation who have experienced failure with front-line therapy for PTLD.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Eligible patients received cyclophosphamide (600 mg/m2 intravenous for 1 day) and prednisone (2 mg/kg orally for 5 days) every 3 weeks for six cycles.

RESULTS: Thirty-six patients treated on study were assessable for analyses. Front-line therapies for PTLD before study entry included immune suppression reduction or withdrawal (n = 36), antiviral therapy (n = 33), surgical resection (n = 8), rituximab (n = 2), and interferon alfa (n = 1). Reasons for failure of front-line therapy included progressive disease (PD; n = 33) and persistent disease with concurrent allograft rejection (n = 3). Thirty patients (83%) had stage III to IV disease, 92% had extranodal disease, and 75% had > or = three sites of disease. The overall response rate was 83% (75% complete response + 8% partial response). The relapse rate was 19%, with only one of five relapsed patients alive and disease-free. Four patients presented with fulminant, disseminated PTLD; only one of these four patients achieved a response, and all four died of PD. Two patients died of treatment-related toxicity. Three patients (8%) experienced allograft loss, but two of the three patients are alive and disease-free after a second transplantation. The 2-year overall, relapse-free, and failure-free (without PTLD and with functioning original allograft) survival rates were 73%, 69%, and 67%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: This low-dose chemotherapy regimen is effective for children with EBV-positive, nonfulminant PTLD who have experienced treatment failure with front-line therapy, and this study represents the largest series of PTLD patients treated prospectively with a uniform chemotherapy regimen.

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