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Original Article

Treatment and prognosis of AIDS-related lymphoma in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy: findings from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study

Mathew Simcock, Monika Blasko, Urs Karrer, Barbara Bertisch, Miklos Pless, Liisa Blumer, Samir Vora, James Owen Robinson, Enos Bernasconi, Benedetta Terziroli, Sophie Moirandat-Rytz, Hansjakob Furrer, Bernard Hirschel, Pietro Vernazza, Pedram Sendi, Martin Rickenbach, Heiner C Bucher, Manuel Battegay, Michael T Koller, the Swiss HIV Cohort Study

Corresponding author name: Michael T Koller
Corresponding author e-mail: kollerm@uhbs.ch

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2007; 12:931-939


Objective: To assess the characteristics of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) administered concomitantly with chemotherapy and to establish prognostic determinants of patients with AIDS-related non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Methods: The study included 91 patients with AIDS-related non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study enrolled between January 1997 and October 2003, excluding lymphomas of the brain. We extracted AIDS-related non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma- and HIV-specific variables at the time of lymphoma diagnosis as well as treatment changes over time from charts and from the Swiss HIV Cohort Study database. Cox regression analyses were performed to study predictors of overall and progression-free survival.

Results: During a median follow up of 1.6 years, 57 patients died or progressed. Thirty-five patients stopped chemotherapy prematurely (before the sixth cycle) usually due to disease progression; these patients had a shorter median survival than those who completed six or more cycles (14 versus 28 months). Interruptions of cART decreased from 35% before chemotherapy to 5% during chemotherapy. Factors associated with overall survival were CD4+ T-cell count (<100 cells/μl) (hazard ratio [HR] 2.95 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.53–5.67], hepatitis C seropositivity (HR 2.39 [95% CI 1.01–5.67]), the international prognostic index score (HR 1.98–3.62 across categories) and Burkitt histological subtypes (HR 2.56 [95% CI 1.13–5.78]).

Conclusions: Interruptions of cART were usually not induced by chemotherapy. The effect of cART interruptions on AIDS-related non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma prognosis remains unclear, however, hepatitis C seropositivity emerged as a predictor of death beyond the well-known international prognostic index score and CD4+ T-cell count.


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