HIV Status Has No Bearing On Hodgkin's Outcomes

Contrary to expectations, HIV-positive patients who develop Hodgkin's lymphoma don’t experience worse outcomes than Hodgkin's patients who are HIV negative. This is true despite HIV-positive patients tending to have more extensive disease and more adverse prognostic factors.

Research supporting this was published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The study, led by Silvia Montoto, M.D., of the Queen Mary University of London, involved 224 patients with newly diagnosed Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Of the 224 patients, 93 were HIV-positive. They were all treated with the standard combination chemotherapy, ABVD. All but one of them received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) during chemotherapy.

Complete response rates were as follows:
-- HIV-positive: 74%
-- HIV-negative: 79%

Five-year event-free survival rate:
-- HIV-positive: 59%
-- HIV-negative: 66%

Five-year overall survival rate:
-- HIV-positive: 81%
-- HIV-negative: 88%

The researchers concluded that the study "consolidates the increasingly prevalent notion that, in the current HAART era, patients with HIV and lymphoma should be treated with the same protocols used in HIV-negative patients.

"As a corollary, HIV status should be removed from the exclusion criteria for entry onto clinical trials."

Source: JCO

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