(HealthDay News) — Despite more extensive disease and more adverse prognostic factors, HIV-positive patients with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) do not have worse outcomes when treated with doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (ABVD), according to research published online Oct. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Silvia Montoto, M.D., of the Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues conducted a study involving 224 patients with newly diagnosed HL, of whom 93 were HIV positive, who were treated with ABVD. The HIV-positive patients had more high-risk disease; 47 had CD4 counts below 200/µL and 92 received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) during chemotherapy.

The researchers found that the complete response rate was not significantly different for HIV-positive and HIV-negative patients (74 and 79 percent, respectively). After a median follow-up of 60 months, 16 HIV-negative and seven HIV-positive patients had relapsed at a median of six months. Neither the five-year event-free survival rate (59 and 66 percent for positive and negative patients, respectively) nor the five-year overall survival rate (81 and 88 percent for positive and negative patients, respectively) were significantly different.

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“In summary, this 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,” the authors write. “As a corollary, HIV status should be removed from the exclusion criteria for entry onto clinical trials.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


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