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Haematologica. 2007 Feb;92(2):191-8.

Results of treatment with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine and highly active antiretroviral therapy in advanced stage, human immunodeficiency virus-related Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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  • 1Institut Català d' Oncologia-Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona, Spain.



Although doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine and dacarbazine (ABVD) is considered the standard chemotherapy regimen for Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL), information on the results of this therapy in human immunodeficiency (HIV)-related HL is scarce. We analyzed the results of the ABVD regimen and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in patients with advanced stage, HIV-related HL.


From January 1996 to December 2005, 62 HIV-infected patients with newly diagnosed HL were treated in 15 Spanish hospitals. Six to eight cycles of ABVD and HAART were planned. Response to chemotherapy, overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) were recorded.


The median age of the patients was 37 years (range, 24-61) and 29 (47%) had a previously known diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The median CD4 lymphocyte count at diagnosis was 129/muL (range 5-1,209). The histologic subtype of HL was nodular sclerosis in 17 patients (27%), mixed cellularity in 25 (41%), lymphocyte depletion in 10 (16%) and non-specified in the remaining 10 (16%). Twenty-one (34%) patients were in stage III and 41 (66%) in stage IV. The scheduled six to eight ABVD cycles were completed in 82% of cases. Six patients died during induction, 54 (87%) achieved a complete response (CR) and two were resistant. After a median follow-up of 39 and 47 months, 5-year EFS and OS probabilities were 71% (47-95) and 76% (65-87), respectively. An immunological response was observed in 24 out of 43 patients (56%) and a virological response in 27 out of 40 (68%). The immunological response to HAART had a positive impact on OS and EFS (p=0.002 and p=0.001, respectively).


In patients with advanced stage, HIV-related HL, treatment with ABVD together with HAART is feasible and effective. This supports the concept that patients with HIV-related HL should be treated in the same way as immunocompetent patients if HAART, adequate supportive therapy and anti-infectious prophylaxis are given concomitantly. An immunological response to HAART has a positive impact on OS and EFS.

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