BASIS: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is one of the commonest neoplasms appearing in subjects infected by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The purpose of this work was to analyse the clinical and laboratory characteristics, along with the clinical course, response to therapy and prognosis in a series of 40 patients with NHL and HIV infection treated in a single institution between 1985 and 1993. METHODS: The following variables at onset were analysed: age, sex, risky behaviour, NHL location, presence of "B" symptoms, haemoglobin value, platelet count, total number of lymphocytes and CD4-positive lymphocyte count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, LDH levels, serum albumin, beta 2-microglobulin, NHL type and staging. The following variables during follow-up were also examined: treatment administered, achievement of remission and remission duration, date of relapse and death or date of the last control, relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS). A multivariate study of the prognostic factors associated to the achievement of remission, RFS and OS were carried out as well. RESULTS: The frequency of NHL amongst the HIV-positive subjects was 4.4%. Thirty cases had high-grade lymphoma, 20 were stage IV and 33 had extranodal locations. Anaemia was the commonest blood impairment and CD4-positive lymphocyte count was below 0.2 x 10(9)/L in 72% of the cases. Twenty-eight patients with systemic NHL received chemotherapy (CHOP in 25 instances, MACOP-B in 3), and of them 6 were alive, 5 in maintained remission, as for this paper's writing. The median RFS was 7 months and the median OS was 11 months. Increased serum LDH was associated with lesser probability of attaining both remission (p = 0.03) and RFS (p = 0.03). Response to therapy was the main factor in determining survival (p = 0.002); after excluding such factor, increased serum LDH and low serum albumin rates correlated negatively with OS (p = 0.004 and p = 0.007, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: HIV-positive patients, when affected by NHL, usually have high-grade lymphoma, frequently in advanced stages and with extra-nodal involvement. They show poor response to therapy. Increased serum LDH level is the main prognostic factor.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1994|