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EBV-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) following Alemtuzumab-based allo-SCT is a relatively uncommon and challenging clinical problem but has not received detailed study in a large cohort. Quantitative-PCR (qPCR) monitoring for EBV reactivation post allo-SCT is now commonplace but its diagnostic and predictive value remains unclear. Sixty-nine patients with PTLD following Alemtuzumab-based allo-SCT were studied. Marked clinicopathological heterogeneity was evident; lymphadenopathy was frequently absent, whereas advanced extranodal disease was common. The median viral load at clinical presentation was 49 300 copies/mL (50-65 200 000 copies/mL) and, notably, 23% and 45% of cases, respectively, had 10 000 and 40 000 copies/mL. The overall response rate to rituximab as first-line therapy was 70%. For rituximab failures, chemotherapy was ineffectual but DLIs were successful. A four-parameter prognostic index predicted response to therapy (OR 0.30 (0.12-0.74); P=0.009] and PTLD mortality (hazard ratio (HR) 1.81 (1.12-2.93) P=0.02) on multivariate analysis. This is the largest detailed series of EBV-associated PTLD after allo-SCT. At clinical presentation, EBV-qPCR values are frequently below customary thresholds for pre-emptive therapy, challenging current paradigms for monitoring and intervention. A four-point score identifies a proportion of patients at risk of rituximab-refractory disease for whom alternative therapy is needed.

Original publication




Journal article


Bone Marrow Transplant

Publication Date





280 - 286


Adult, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived, Antineoplastic Agents, Cohort Studies, Epstein-Barr Virus Infections, Female, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Humans, Immunotherapy, Lymphoproliferative Disorders, Male, Middle Aged, Prognosis, Retrospective Studies, Rituximab, Survival Analysis, Transplantation Conditioning, Viral Load