Ex-vivo Delivery of Rituximab to Prevent Post-transplant Lymphoproliferative Disease in Epstein-Barr Virus Mismatch Lung Transplant Recipients: A Pilot Trial
Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) can present as a type of malignancy that limits patient and graft survival after solid organ transplantation. Many early PTLDs are driven by the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). Once acquired, EBV virus establishes latency in B-cells and can reactivate under immunosuppression. The highest risk transplant type to develop PTLD are lung transplants who have newly acquired EBV from their donors (D+/R-). There are no good modalities to prevent PTLD from developing after transplant. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that depletes B-cells thereby also reducing the burden of EBV. However, rituximab can have toxicities when given intravenously including infusion reactions and increased risk of reactions. Furthermore, more than one dose is usually required. The Toronto Transplant program has developed a technology called ex vivo lung perfusion that repairs lungs outside of the body. Preliminary work has shown that rituximab given through the EVLP circuit can coat B-cells. We have also shown that there is no toxicity to the lung by giving rituximab. The current highly novel study proposes to treat donor lungs ex-vivo with rituximab in order to decrease the amount of B-cells and EBV in the graft. These lungs will then be transplanted into EBV negative patients with the hope that transmission of EBV would be reduced or prevented. Ten patients will be included in the current trial. Outcomes include safety, EBV viral load, and B-cell measurements in biopsies.
• Age >=18 years
• Listed for single or double lung transplantation
• EBV (EBNA IgG and/or VCA IgG) seronegative (tested within the last 12 months)