Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-related lymphoma in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy

Christina Thirlwell, Debashis Sarker, Justin Stebbing, Mark Bower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


The treatment and outcome of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection altered dramatically in the mid-1990s with the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Highly active antiretroviral therapy, where available, has led to a dramatic decline in mortality from HIV and a decrease in the incidence of opportunistic infections and Kaposi sarcoma. This article addresses the effects that HAART has had on acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-related non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Metaanalysis of numerous cohort studies confirmed that the incidence of AIDS-related NHL has decreased since the advent of HAART. This decline is most marked for primary cerebral lymphomas and systemic immunoblastic lymphoma but has not been demonstrated for Burkitt lymphoma. In addition to genetic predisposing factors, age, nadir CD4 cell count, and lack of HAART therapy predict the development of NHL. The clinical presentation of AIDS-related NHL has not changed, but several institutions have reported an improvement in survival since the introduction of HAART. Moreover, HAART has been combined safely with systemic chemotherapy in the management of NHL, and this approach results in a more modest decrease in immune function than when chemotherapy is administered alone. This has led to a more aggressive approach to the management of AIDS-related NHL and response rates and overall survival durations that are approaching those seen in stage-matched high-grade lymphomas in the immunocompetent population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, AIDS-Related
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin


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