-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, July 26 (HealthDay News) -- Survival rates for patients
with HIV-associated lymphoma have not improved since antiretroviral
therapy (ART) became available, according to a new study.
HIV, the AIDS-causing virus, raises the risk of lymphoma, a
blood cancer, which is the most common cancer-related cause of
death among people with HIV.
"These results highlight an ongoing need to ... optimize treatments for this challenging population to reduce deaths from one of the leading causes of mortality in the [antiretroviral therapy] era," said Dr. Satish Gopal, of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina.
For the study, published July 26 in the
Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers
examined data from nearly 500 patients diagnosed with
HIV-associated lymphoma between 1996 and 2010.
Patients diagnosed more recently were older and more likely to
be male, gay, Hispanic, and to have had prior HIV-related
illnesses. They also were more likely to be on antiretroviral
therapy when diagnosed with lymphoma, with higher CD4 counts and
better HIV control.
But these recently diagnosed patients did not have a lower risk
of death five years after diagnosis than those diagnosed earlier in
the study period.
Moreover, lymphomas diagnosed in patients on antiretroviral
therapy were associated with twice the risk of death, the
researchers found. This may suggest important biologic differences
between lymphomas in patients on and off antiretroviral therapy,
and further investigation is required, Gopal and colleagues said in
a journal news release.
The types of lymphoma patients had included Hodgkin lymphoma,
Burkitt lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, other non-Hodgkin
lymphoma and primary central nervous system lymphoma. The
proportion diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma grew during the study
period compared to other forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
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