Controlled Epstein-Barr virus reactivation after allogeneic transplantation is associated with improved survival

Abstract : Epstein–Barr virus reactivation (EBV-R) frequently occurs in patients having allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We evaluated the impact of controlled EBV-R on survival of 190 patients (114M/76F, median age: 51 yr, range 18–69), having HSCT for hematological malignancies (105 acute leukemias and myelodysplasias, 71 lymphoproliferative disorders, 14 others). Overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) were compared between patients with and without EBV-R. Of 138, patients had reduced-intensity conditioning regimen. Various stem cell sources (141 PB, 33 umbilical cord blood and 16 bone marrow) were used. Patients with EBV-R had longer PFS and OS than those without EBV-R: PFS at 2 yr 69% vs. 51% and at 5 yr 47% vs. 38% (P < 0.04); OS at 2 yr 76% vs. 64% and at 5 yr 63% vs. 47%) (P < 0.001). The use of rituximab had no impact on OS and PFS, but it reduced the intensity of GVHD, despite the fact that TRM was not significantly different between the two groups of patients. So, rituximab may have an additional effect to other factors on PFS and OS. In multivariate analysis, antithymocyte globulin administration was not a significant factor for PFS (P = 0.68) and for OS (P = 0.81). Circulating NK cells were significantly increased by 22% (P = 0.03) in EBV-R patients with no differences for other parameters. Controlled EBV-R in the setting of HSCT is associated with better OS and PFS, with a significant increase in circulating NK cells.
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Sophie Auger, Mattea Orsini, Patrice Céballos, Nathalie Fegueux, Tarik Kanouni, et al.. Controlled Epstein-Barr virus reactivation after allogeneic transplantation is associated with improved survival. European Journal of Haematology, Wiley, 2014, 92 (5), pp.421 - 428. ⟨10.1111/ejh.12260⟩. ⟨inserm-01867012⟩

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