CD20 antigen expression by lymphoproliferative disorders after kidney transplant is independently associated with a poor outcome: PTLD.Int survey

Exp Clin Transplant. 2012 Aug;10(4):325-31. doi: 10.6002/ect.2011.0181. Epub 2012 Jul 3.


Objectives: Antigen expression by neoplastic cells is important because of its effects on the behavior and survival of patients. We sought to gather data on renal transplant recipients who had developed posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders in their posttransplant era, and had a documented report on CD20 antigen testing.

Materials and methods: A comprehensive search of the literature was done for reports that indicate test results for the CD20 antigen in kidney recipients having lymphoproliferative disorders after transplant. Their demographics, disease characteristics, and prognoses were analyzed.

Results: CD20-positive posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder patients had a significantly shorter time from transplant to developing posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (P < .001). None of patients who had early onset posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder was CD20 negative. Bone marrow involvement was significantly more prevalent among CD20-negative patients (P < .05) with no CD20-positive patient developing a bone marrow metastasis. Log-rank test showed a relatively worse survival for renal recipients expressing the CD20 antigen (P = .07).

Conclusions: CD20-positive posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder lesions in kidney transplant patients are significantly more likely to develop early after transplant and represent an inferior outcome. We suggest that all renal transplant recipients who develop posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder within their early time after surgery should be given anti-CD20 therapy. Future prospective studies are required to confirm our conclusions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, CD20 / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Bone Marrow Examination
  • Bone Marrow Neoplasms / immunology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Kidney Transplantation / mortality
  • Linear Models
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / immunology*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / mortality
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antigens, CD20
  • Biomarkers