The changing face of HIV-associated lymphoma: what can we learn about optimal therapy in the post highly active antiretroviral therapy era?
AffiliationCRC Division of Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital & Institute of Cancer Research, University of Manchester School of Medicine, Manchester, UK.
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AbstractEpidemiological data indicate that the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in HIV positive individuals is related to age and CD4 count (i.e. degree of immunosuppression). The prognosis of patients with HIV-NHL has been shown to be linked to several features including age, stage, modified IPI, prior AIDS diagnosis, CD4 count, immunoblastic pathology, LDH, and HAART use. These features are, as would be expected, a mixture of prognostic factors relating to both the HIV, and to the NHL. Population studies indicate that the incidence of associated (HIV-NHL) may be reducing with the advent of HAART, although not all studies concur. However, most population-based studies have not as yet shown a significant improvement in the survival of patients with HIV-NHL with HAART. The optimal chemotherapy for these patients is unknown, although it is generally accepted that CNS prophylaxis is mandatory. There is currently no good evidence of any survival benefit with increased dose intensity from large RCT. However, it must be borne in mind that the large randomised studies comparing differing dose intensities were undertaken before the advent of effective HAART. There is some evidence that there may be a subset of good prognosis patients who may benefit from more intensive therapy. Given that the prognosis of patients with HIV can now be considerably improved with HAART, we cannot necessarily assume that the same results would apply with regard to chemotherapy dose intensity. There is some evidence that there is a survival benefit from the addition of HAART to chemotherapy, although this is retrospective. It is likely, however, that the reason for this is that the HAART improves the prognosis of the patients from their HIV, and therefore reduces the number of patients dying from other HIV-related illnesses whilst in remission from their lymphoma, as was seen in large numbers of patients in the earlier chemotherapy trials. It must not be forgotten that the prognosis of the patient's NHL is intimately linked to their prognosis with respect to the HIV. Although the number of patients with HIV-NHL is currently few, there is a need for more trials of chemotherapy, particularly now in the HAART era, when the prognosis from the point of view of the HIV has improved so much. In particular, the issue of dose intensity needs revisiting for patients whose overall prognosis can be improved by commencing HAART. Patients with HIV-NHL should be managed at specialist centres, and where possible should be managed as part of RCT.
CitationThe changing face of HIV-associated lymphoma: what can we learn about optimal therapy in the post highly active antiretroviral therapy era? 2004, 22 (3):111-20 Hematol Oncol
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