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Anthracycline-based chemotherapy as first-line treatment in adults with malignant posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder after solid organ transplantation.

Transplantation 2006 August 16
BACKGROUND: Recommended first-line treatment for posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is reduction in immunosuppressive therapy, irrespective of histopathological type. Second-line treatment with chemotherapy is generally reserved for tumors that fail to respond to reduced immunosuppression. In view of the similarities between monomorphic PTLD and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the general population, our policy is to treat monomorphic PTLD with anthracycline-based chemotherapy as first-line treatment.

METHODS: A retrospective single-center analysis of 18 adults who developed PTLD following liver or kidney transplantation was undertaken, with particular emphasis on tumor histology, treatment received, and clinical outcome.

RESULTS: Of the 18 patients with PTLD, 13 had high-grade malignant lymphoma on diagnostic biopsy and received anthracycline-based chemotherapy and reduction in immunosuppression as first-line therapy. Nine (69%) of the 13 patients achieved complete remission and eight (62%) remained in complete remission five years after diagnosis. There was no graft loss from rejection or drug toxicity. Four (22%) patients had polymorphic PTLD on diagnostic biopsy (of which two were re-classified as monomorphic) and one had a low-grade malignant lymphoma. All five patients were treated by reduction in immunosuppression without chemotherapy and were in complete remission at a median of two years after diagnosis. Overall, complete remission was seen in 14 out of 18 patients (78%) at one year following diagnosis.

CONCLUSION: The use of anthracycline-based chemotherapy and reduction of immunosuppression as first-line treatment in adults with monomorphic PTLD is well tolerated and achieves sustained complete remission in around 70% of patients with a low risk of graft loss.

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