A single-center experience of post-transplant lymphomas involving the central nervous system with a review of current literature

Oncotarget. 2019 Jan 11;10(4):437-448. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.26522.


Background: Central Nervous System (CNS) lymphoma is a rare presentation of post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD).

Methods: This single center retrospective study reviewed presentations, management and outcomes of CNS lymphomas in kidney transplant patients transplanted 1968 to 2015, and reviews relevant current literature.

Results: We identified 5773 adult kidney transplant recipients of who 90 had a PTLD diagnosis confirmed. CNS disease was diagnosed in 6/90 (7%). Median age at presentation was 60 years and time from transplant 4.5 years. Immunosuppression at diagnosis included mycophenolate mofetil and prednisolone without calcineurin inhibitor in 5/6 patients. Histological analysis diagnosed monomorphic disease in 5/6, and one polymorphic case with tissue positive for Epstein-barr virus (EBV) in 5/6 cases. Despite this 2/4 EBV positive cases had no detectable EBV in peripheral blood or CSF at diagnosis. Treatment strategies included reduction in immunosuppression in all, chemotherapy (n=5), radiotherapy (n=3), Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes and Craniotomy (n=2). Patient survival was 40% at 1 year with CTL treated patients surviving beyond three years from diagnosis.

Conclusion: This study supports observational data suggesting MMF treated patients without CNI may have increased risk of disease. Peripheral blood screening for EBV DNAemia does not seem helpful in early identification of those at risk.

Keywords: CNS-PTLD; EBV; immunosuppression; mycophenolate; transplantation.