Post-Transplant Proliferative Disease Program

kid in a hospital bed holding teddy bear

Post-Transplant Proliferative Disease Program

For children with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD), getting the right care means working with a care team that understands the challenges involved with this disease. Treating PTLD requires expertise across several fields, including transplantation, immunology, oncology, and virology. Working with a major medical center like Columbia can help ensure your child has access to the care they need.

What Is Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disease?

PTLD is a rare but serious complication that can affect pediatric transplant patients. It can occur in children who have undergone solid-organ transplants or allogeneic (donated) stem cell transplantation. Transplant recipients must take medications that suppress the immune system to help the body accept the transplant and avoid rejection. But reducing the body's immune response can leave transplant patients at greater risk for infections and complications like PTLD.

PTLDs are classified as a type of lymphoma, or a cancer of the lymphatic system that develops when lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) multiply uncontrollably. PTLDs are often associated with the Epstein-Barr virus, a common virus that can lie dormant in cells and reactivate post-transplant.

Children with PTLD are at increased risk for illness or failure of their transplanted organ. Early, aggressive treatment is critical and often involves reducing the immune-suppressing medications to restore normal immune function while using a combination of targeted medications and chemotherapy to attack the abnormal cells. PTLD patients must be carefully monitored and managed during this time to avoid organ rejection.

PTLD is very rare, but the exact incidence depends on the type of transplant received. Even when treated successfully, PTLD can return, so seeking treatment at the earliest signs of recurrence can help improve outcomes. There are different types of PTLD, and these can require different treatment approaches.

Care at Columbia

In addition to being a leading center for pediatric transplantation, Columbia offers the most advanced support for PTLD patients and their families. Our team can effectively treat PTLD while managing transplant health and avoiding rejection.

Leading Experts Working Together

PTLD requires collaboration between several different specialties. Our program brings together experts from across Columbia to provide the comprehensive treatment your child needs. And because we’re part of NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, you'll be working with the #1 children's hospital in New York City according to U.S. News & World Report.

State-of-the-Art Diagnostics

Accurately diagnosing PTLD requires a range of approaches, including flow cytometry, bone biopsies, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs, in addition to testing for the presence of the Epstein-Barr virus. Columbia offers access to the latest and most advanced diagnostic technologies.

Conditions We Treat

  • Hodgkin lymphoma PTLD
  • Monomorphic PTLD
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma PTLD (B-cell or T-cell origin)
  • Plasmacytic hyperplasia
  • Polymorphic PTLD

Treatments We Offer

  • Bone marrow transplantation (stem cell transplantation)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Targeted drug therapies

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