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Cell infected with Epstein-Barr
virus (green/red) among
uninfected cells (blue)
Image courtesy of
Benjamin Chaigne-Delalande

LISBON—A review of recent studies has revealed a “significant burden” of mortality related to post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD), according to researchers.

Of the 120 PTLD patients studied, 64% died and 42.5% died with PTLD.

The median time from hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) to the development of PTLD was about 9 weeks in children and 11 weeks in adults.

The median time from PTLD diagnosis to death was about 6 weeks in adults and 8 weeks in children.

These findings were presented at 44th Annual Meeting of the EBMT (abstract A219).

The research was funded by Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc., which is developing tabelecleucel (formerly ATA129), a T-cell immunotherapy intended to treat patients with Epstein-Barr virus-associated PTLD who have failed treatment with rituximab.

The review included 9 articles, published in 2005 and later, detailing studies of patients who developed PTLD after HSCT.

There were 120 patients. They had a mean age of 28.97, 67% were male, and 79% had received rituximab.

The 31 pediatric patients had a mean age of 9.84, 81% were male, and 74% had received rituximab. The 89 adult patients had a mean age of 35.63, 62% were male, and 81% had received rituximab.

Among the 16 pediatric patients with available data, the median time from HSCT to PTLD diagnosis was 65 days, and the mean was 138 days.

For the 59 adults with available data, the median time from HSCT to PTLD was 76 days, and the mean was 132 days.

The all-cause mortality rate was 64% in the entire population (77/120), 71% in children (22/31), and 62% in adults (55/89).

Overall, 42.5% of patients (51/120) died with PTLD—35.5% of children (11/31) and 44.9% of adults (40/89).

Among the patients who died with PTLD, the median time from PTLD diagnosis to death was 55 days for children and 40 days for adults. The mean time from PTLD to death was 71 days and 51 days, respectively.

There were 110 patients with available overall survival data. The median survival time from PTLD diagnosis was 116 days in the entire cohort, 153 days in children, and 92 days in adults.

“Patients with PTLD following [HSCT] experience high mortality rates under the current standard of care due to aggressive disease that often rapidly progresses to death after diagnosis,” said Chris Haqq, MD, PhD, of Atara Biotherapeutics.

“Children and relatively young adults in their prime working years are disproportionately affected. Atara is dedicated to progressing tab‑cel™ development in the ongoing phase 3 clinical studies to potentially address the compelling medical need for patients with this life-threatening condition.”

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