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Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2009 May;2(3):283-93. doi: 10.1586/ecp.09.1.

Ongoing change in the treatment of HIV-associated malignancies in the HAART era.

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  • 1Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases Foundation IRCCS San Matteo, University of Pavia, Pizzale Golgi 2, 27100 Pavia, Italy.


Implementation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has changed the epidemiology, clinical outcome and therapeutic approach of HIV-associated malignancies. Whereas Kaposi sarcoma and primary CNS non-Hodgkin lymphoma have decreased dramatically, systemic non-Hodgkin lymphoma incidence seems unchanged, perhaps increasing as with other tumor incidence. Owing to HAART-induced immune function preservation, response rates to chemotherapy and survival times in patients with HIV-associated malignancies have neared those observed in their HIV-negative counterparts. Hence, intensive regimens have been more and more extensively used with promising results. This may also apply to other therapeutic options, such as biotherapy, and procedures, such as stem cell rescue following high-dose chemotherapy or heterologous stem cell transplant, which have so far been precluded to HIV-infected subjects as a matter of fact. A trend toward a full assimilation of HIV-infected people with cancer and the general population with the same pathology is ongoing.

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