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J Clin Oncol. 2012 Nov 20;30(33):4117-23. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2012.41.8137. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Stage-adapted treatment of HIV-associated Hodgkin lymphoma: results of a prospective multicenter study.

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Department of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care, Harlaching Hospital, Academic Teaching Hospital of the University of Munich, Sanatoriumsplatz 2, 81545 Munich, Germany.

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  • J Clin Oncol. 2012 Dec 20;30(36):4590.



Although the outcome of patients with HIV-related Hodgkin lymphoma (HIV-HL) has markedly improved since the introduction of combined antiretroviral therapy, standard therapy is still poorly defined. This prospective study investigates a stage- and risk-adapted treatment strategy in patients with HIV-HL.


Patients with early favorable HIV-HL received two to four cycles of doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD) followed by 30 Gy of involved-field (IF) radiation. In patients with early unfavorable HIV-HL, four cycles of bleomycin, etoposide, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, procarbazine, and prednisone (BEACOPP baseline) or four cycles of ABVD + 30 Gy of IF radiation were administered. Six to eight cycles of BEACOPP baseline were given in patients with advanced-stage HIV-HL. In patients with advanced HIV infection, BEACOPP was replaced with ABVD.


Of 108 patients (including eight female patients) included in the study, 23 (21%) had early favorable HL, 14 (13%) had early unfavorable HL, and 71 (66%) had advanced-stage HL. The median CD4 count at HL diagnosis was 240/μL. The complete remission rates for patients with early favorable, early unfavorable, and advanced-stage HL were 96%, 100%, and 86%, respectively. The 2-year progression-free survival of the entire study population was 91.7%. Eleven patients (11%) have died, and treatment-related mortality was 5.6%. The 2-year overall survival rate was 90.7% with no significant difference between early favorable (95.7%), early unfavorable (100%), and advanced-stage HL (86.8%).


In patients with HIV-HL, stage- and risk-adapted treatment is feasible and effective. The prognosis for patients with HIV-HL may approach that of HIV-negative patients with HL.

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