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Cancer. 2006 Jan 1;106(1):128-35.

Changes in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy: incidence, presentation, treatment, and survival.

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Department of Medicine, Divisions of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, University of California-Irvine, Irvine, California 92868, USA.



The authors sought to determine whether the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) coincided with changes in the epidemiology of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).


Cancer registry data from 1988-2000 were linked with AIDS registry data from 1981 to July 2003 for San Diego County to identify 537 AIDS-NHL patients. By using the total number of patients with AIDS who were alive as of July 1 annually as the AIDS population denominator, the average annual incidence of NHL was estimated among patients with AIDS for the pre-HAART period (1988-1995) and post-HAART period (1996-2000). The chi-square test was used to compare proportions, and a Cox proportional hazards model was used to compare survival between the pre-HAART and post-HAART periods.


The incidence of NHL decreased from 29.6 per 1000 person-years pre-HAART to 6.5 per 1000 person-years post-HAART. The proportion of patients who had NHL of central nervous system (CNS) origin decreased from 28% pre-HAART to 17% post-HAART. Among patients with systemic NHL, 54% received chemotherapy pre-HAART, and 72% received chemotherapy post-HAART. The percentage of intermediate-grade NHL increased from 33% pre-HAART to 49% post-HAART, and the percentage of high-grade NHL decreased from 38% to 19%, respectively. A diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus infection preceding the NHL diagnosis and Stage IV NHL were associated with worse survival, whereas a diagnosis of NHL in the post-HAART period and chemotherapy were associated with better survival. The median survival was 4 months pre-HAART and 9 months post-HAART.


Since the introduction of HAART, there has been a decrease in the incidence of systemic and CNS NHL among patients with AIDS. Among patients with systemic, AIDS-related NHL, there has been decreased high-grade histology, increased use of chemotherapy, and improved survival.

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