Primary CNS lymphoproliferative disease, mycophenolate and calcineurin inhibitor usage

Genevieve M. Crane, Helen Powell, Rumen Kostadinov, Patrick Tim Rocafort, Dena E. Rifkin, Peter C. Burger, Richard F. Ambinder, Lode J. Swinnen, Michael J. Borowitz, Amy S. Duffield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Immunosuppression for solid organ transplantation increases lymphoproliferative disease risk. While central nervous system (CNS) involvement is more rare, we noticed an increase in primary CNS (PCNS) disease. To investigate a potential association with the immunosuppressive regimen we identified all post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) cases diagnosed over a 28-year period at our institution (174 total, 29 PCNS) and all similar cases recorded in a United Network for Organ Sharing-Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (UNOS-OPTN) data file. While no PCNS cases were diagnosed at our institution between 1986 and 1997, they comprised 37% of PTLD cases diagnosed from 2011-2014. PCNS disease was more often associated with renal vs. other organ transplant, Epstein-Barr virus, large B-cell morphology and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) as compared to PTLD that did not involve the CNS. Calcineurin inhibitors were protective against PCNS disease when given alone or in combination with MMF. A multivariate analysis of a larger UNOS-OPTN dataset confirmed these findings, where both MMF and lack of calcineurin inhibitor usage were independently associated with risk for development of PCNS PTLD. These findings have significant implications for the transplant community, particularly given the introduction of new regimens lacking calcineurin inhibitors. Further investigation into these associations is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33849-33866
Number of pages18
Issue number32
StatePublished - 2015


  • Calcineurin inhibitors
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder
  • Primary central nervous system lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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