Anthracycline-based Chemotherapy as First-line Treatment in Adults with Malignant Posttransplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder after Solid Organ Transplantation

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



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.


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.


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.


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.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles