Chronic lymphocytic leukemia: a hazardous condition before kidney transplantation.
Long-term survival of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is over 10 years, and such patients are thus potential kidney recipients in the case of superimposed end-stage renal disease. However, the renal and patient outcome in this condition is unknown. We report the charts of four patients with CLL who were engrafted in France with a deceased-donor kidney and underwent routine triple immunosuppressive therapy. The results show that these patients developed severe infectious episodes (fatal in one case) and tumoral complications including rapid progression of CLL in two cases. Moreover, the graft may be infiltrated and damaged by monoclonal B cells: one patient lost his graft 14 months after transplantation. Various therapeutic options (modifications of the immunosuppressive regimen, anti-CD20 antibodies, irradiation of the graft) showed little (if any) efficacy. Therefore, we believe that CLL is a too hazardous condition to envisage solid organ transplantation with a routine immunosuppressive regimen, and we propose a more appropriate approach.