The use of Epitope Panning to identify potential causative agents for EBV negative Post-transplant Lymphoproliferative Disoder (PTLD).

Pricipal Investigator – Muir Morton

PTLD is the second most common cancer occurring in kidney transplant patients. It is a serious condition and is often identified late when the disease is advanced and life-threatening. It is associated with infection by the Epstein Barr virus (EBV) in two thirds of cases. Use of immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection impairs the ability of the immune system to control the virus which may cause cancerous changes in cells in the body.

A third of cases are EBV negative and as yet have no known infection associated with them. This study will use a novel and extremely powerful technique, “epitope panning”, which has been used in studies successfully searching for infectious causes of ovarian cancer. The researchers will aim to identify infectious agents that may be involved in the development of EBV negative PTLD. Successful identification could have huge clinical implications for both prevention and treatment world-wide of EBV negative PTLD.