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Successful clearance of hepatitis B virus after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: beneficial combination of adoptive immunity transfer and lamivudine


Osamu Yokosuka MD, Department of Medicine and Clinical Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 1-8-1, Inohana, Chuo Ward, Chiba 260-8670, Japan
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We report a 38-yr-old male with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), whose serological tests for the hepatitis B virus (HBV) before transplantation showed a chronic carrier status, and a liver biopsy specimen revealed chronic liver injury because of HBV. The patient underwent allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT) from his sibling who was hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) positive. He had received lamivudine treatment for the prophylaxis of HBV reactivation during cytotoxic chemotherapy, and lamivudine administration continued after transplantation. Successful engraftment was documented 3 wk after PBSCT, and clearance of the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was observed 2 months after PBSCT. Liver function tests transiently showed a mild elevation of aminotransferases on day 25, although this returned to normal after the dose escalation of the immunosuppressive agent. We presume that the combination of adoptive immunity transfer by bone marrow transplantation (BMT) from an HBsAb-positive donor and antiviral drugs such as lamivudine is beneficial in clearing HBV in chronic carriers.