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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Jul 1;23(19):4372-80.

Prognostic factors and outcome of human herpesvirus 8-associated primary effusion lymphoma in patients with AIDS.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Immunology, Hôpital Saint-Louis, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 1 Avenue Claude Vellefaux, 75 475 Paris cedex 10, France.



Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a rare high-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma associated with Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV/HHV-8) infection, and is mostly observed in the course of HIV infection. The prognosis is poor, with reported median survival time shorter than 6 months. To date, no prognostic factor has been identified in this subset of lymphoma.


We describe here a large series of HIV-infected patients with PEL, including 28 cases diagnosed in six centers during an 11-year time period. Prognosis analysis was performed using a Cox proportional hazard regression model. Statistically significant covariates were further analyzed in a forward, stepwise multivariate model.


After a median follow-up of 3.8 years (range, 10 months to 10.8 years), nine patients (32%) were still alive, and eight of them remained progression free. The median survival was 6.2 months, and the 1-year overall survival rate was 39.3%. Fourteen patients (50%) achieved complete remission, with a 1-year disease-free survival rate at 78.6%. In a multivariate analysis, only a performance status more than 2 (hazard ratio, 5.84; 95% CI, 1.76 to 19.33) and the absence of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) before PEL diagnosis (hazard ratio, 3.26; 95% CI, 1.14 to 9.34) were found to be independent predictors for shorter survival.


Based on a retrospective series of 28 patients, two prognostic factors were identified as being independently associated with impaired clinical outcome in HIV-related PEL--(1) a poor performance status and (2) the absence of HAART before PEL diagnosis.

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