Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is a serious complication of organ transplantation that often manifests as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated B cell lymphomas. Current treatments for PTLD have limited efficacy and can be associated with graft rejection or systemic toxicities. The mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin, suppresses tumor growth of EBV+ B cell lymphoma cells in vitro and in vivo; however, the efficacy is limited and clinical benefits of mTOR inhibitors for PTLD are variable. Here, we show constitutive activation of multiple nodes within the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway in EBV+ PTLD-derived cell lines. Inhibition of either PI3K or Akt, with specific inhibitors CAL-101 and MK-2206, respectively, diminished growth of EBV+ B cell lines from PTLD patients in a dose-dependent manner. Importantly, rapamycin combined with CAL-101 or MK-2206 had a synergistic effect in suppressing cell growth as determined by IC50 isobolographic analysis and Loewe indices. Moreover, these combinations were significantly more effective than rapamycin alone in inhibiting tumor xenograft growth in NOD-SCID mice. Finally, both CAL-101 and MK-2206 also prolonged survival of heterotopic cardiac allografts in C57BL/6 mice. Thus, combination therapy with rapamycin and a PI3K inhibitor, or an Akt inhibitor, can be an efficacious treatment for EBV-associated PTLD, while simultaneously promoting allograft survival. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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