Comparable Survival, More GVHD Risk Using EBV-Seropositive HCT Donors

A large-scale retrospective study of the effect of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) serostatus on outcomes of allogeneic HCT in 11,364 patients with acute leukemia found that patients receiving grafts from EBV-seropositive donors had the same overall survival as patients who received grafts from EBV-seronegative donors. However, recipients receiving EBV-seropositive grafts had a higher risk of chronic GVHD than those with EBV-seronegative donors (40.8% vs. 31.0%, respectively; p<0.001), and when adjusted for confounders, higher risk was identified for both acute and chronic GVHD. The researchers conclude that their study results “suggest a rationale for the use of rituximab or another anti-CD20 antibody in the prophylaxis or therapy of chronic and possibly acute GVHD after allogeneic HCT performed using EBV-seropositive donors.”

Styczynski J, et al. J Clin Oncol

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