BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to assess the feasibility of high-dose chemotherapy plus autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HDC/AHSCT) in AIDS-related lymphoma (ARL), and its long-term impact in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). DESIGN AND METHODS: Fourteen patients with relapsed or resistant ARL (8 with nonHodgkin's lymphoma and 6 with Hodgkin's disease) were treated with HDC/AHSCT while on HAART. HIV-1 proviral DNA load was quantified in 11 grafts. RESULTS: Hematologic reconstitution was good. No toxic deaths occurred. Despite the large number of cells harboring HIV-1 proviral DNA (105 to 109) re-infused with the graft, HAART controlled HIV replication and led to CD4 cell reconstitution in 7 of the 8 patients who were still alive six months after AHSCT. Only two patients had opportunistic infections after AHSCT. There were no significant changes in viral load (VL) or CD4+ cell counts in most patients. One month after AHSCT, 10 patients were in complete remission (CR). Seven patients died from lymphoma between 1 and 10 months after AHSCT, and a further two patients died in CR (one from AIDS at 16 months, one from another tumor at 28 months). Five patients are alive: four are in CR, 14, 19, 32 and 49 months after AHSCT (median CD4+ cell count= 445/mL; undetectable VL in 3 patients), and one is being treated for relapsed lymphoma 36 months after AHSCT. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: HDC/AHSCT is feasible in AIDS-related lymphoma, in terms of harvesting, engraftment, adverse events and HIV control. It should be proposed to patients with poor-prognosis chemosensitive lymphoma.
Vol. 89 No. 9 (2004): September, 2004 : Evaluation Studies
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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