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Saturday 01 February 2003

Successful treatment of aggressive HIV-associated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with combination chemotherapy, biotherapy with rituximab and HAART: presentation of a therapeutic option.

By: Klepfish A, Schattner A, Shvidel L, Shtalrid M, Haran M, Bentwich Z, Berrebi A.

Leuk Lymphoma 2003 Feb;44(2):349-51

The incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is more than 60 times higher than in matched controls. In the vast majority of cases aggressive pathological subtypes and advanced stages prevail, extranodal sites are involved and systemic symptoms are present. The prognosis of HIV-NHL remains poor and the optimal therapeutic approach has yet to be defined. We report a 48-year-old Ethiopian woman with advanced-stage HIV infection, who developed diffuse large cell, immunoblastic type B-cell NHL and was treated with a modified CHOP-like chemotherapy combined with Rituximab and supported with growth factor. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and opportunistic infections prophylaxis were administered concomitantly. The patient completed 6 cycles of therapy and currently, 76 weeks after diagnosis, is in complete clinical remission. Despite the fact that there was a transient decrease in the CD4-positive cell number and a 1.5 log increase in plasma viral load there were no opportunistic infections, nor was life-threatening toxicity seen. Rituximab seems a well-tolerable and advantageous adjunct to chemotherapy and HAART in the treatment of aggressive HIV-associated NHL andshould be investigated in large trials in the future.

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