Plasma EBV-DNA monitoring in Epstein–Barr virus-positive Hodgkin lymphoma patients
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is associated with approximately one-third of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) cases. EBV-DNA is often present in the plasma and whole blood of EBV-associated HL patients. However, the significance of EBV-DNA monitoring is debated. In a cohort of 165 adult HL patients, EBV-DNA viral load was prospectively monitored both in the plasma and whole blood. Diagnostic tissue samples of all patients were histologically reviewed; in 72% nodular sclerosis was detected, 24% presented with mixed cellularity (MC), and 5% had other type of HL. Tissues from 150 patients were also analyzed for the presence of latent EBV infection using in situ hybridization for EBV-encoded RNA (EBER) and immunohistochemistry for latent membrane protein (LMP1). Using these methods, 29 (19%) patients were classified as EBV positive. Using real-time quantitative PCR, 22 (76%) of EBV-positive HL patients had detectable EBV-DNA in the plasma and 19 (66%) patients in whole blood prior to therapy. In the group of EBV-negative HL cases, three (2%) patients had detectable plasma EBV-DNA and 30 (25%) patients whole blood EBV-DNA before treatment. EBV-positive HL was significantly associated with EBV-DNA positivity both in the plasma and whole blood in pretreatment samples, increasing age and MC subtype. Serial analysis of plasma EBV-DNA showed that response to therapy was associated with decline in viral load. Moreover, significantly increased plasma EBV-DNA level recurred before disease relapse in one patient. Our results further suggest that the assessment of plasma EBV-DNA viral load might be of value for estimation of prognosis and follow-up of patients with EBV-positive HL.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Clinical Hematology, University Hospital Kralovske Vinohrady and 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague 2: Department of Paediatric Hematology and Oncology, Motol University Hospital and 2nd Medical Faculty of Charles University, Prague 3: Department of Medical Microbiology, Motol University Hospital, Prague 4: Department of Pathology, University Hospital Kralovske Vinohrady and 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague 5: Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Motol University Hospital and 2nd Medical Faculty of Charles University, Prague
Publication date: 2011-01-01