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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Presentation and outcomes of systemic non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a comparison between patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy and patients without AIDS.

  • Author(s): Diamond, Catherine
  • Taylor, Thomas H
  • Im, Theresa
  • Anton-Culver, Hoda
  • et al.

We used the San Diego/Orange County cancer registry to identify 64 cases of systemic non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) with AIDS who received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) at the time of NHL diagnosis or thereafter and 64 NHL controls without AIDS, matched on age, sex, race, time of NHL diagnosis (1994-1995 and 1996-1999), and hospital type (academic, large community, and small community). We compared cases and controls by chi-squared tests and Kaplan-Meier methods. Thirty-three percent of cases had high grade histology versus 11% of controls (p < 0.01); 69% had baseline hemoglobin <13 g/dL versus 35% controls (p < 0.001) and 21% had baseline neutrophils <2,000/mcl versus 4% of controls (p < 0.001). Overall median survival was 16 months for cases versus 99 months for controls (p < 0.01). Among 40 matched pairs of cases and controls who received chemotherapy, 32% of cases received reduced-dose chemotherapy versus 5% of controls (p < 0.01) and median survival was 33 months for cases and 99 months for controls (p < 0.44). Patients with AIDS-related NHL who received HAART had high grade histology and baseline cytopenia and received reduced-dose chemotherapy more often than patients without AIDS. However, AIDS patients who received HAART and chemotherapy had survival similar to NHL patients without AIDS, an improvement from the pre-HAART era. Appropriate hematologic support, through growth factors, transfusions, and avoidance of drugs with hematologic toxicity, might allow full dosing of chemotherapy, and perhaps would further improve outcomes among patients with AIDS and NHL.

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