A research team at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute examines the effect of HIV infection in patients who are being treated for a Non-Hodgkin aggressive lymphoma

A research team at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC) has studied the two groups of patients (ones HIV positive and the others HIV free) who received the same combined chemotherapy for B-cell aggressive lymphoma. The results of this study have just been published in the international magazine AIDS. 

As it is well known, people who are HIV positive are under a high risk of contracting infections and diseases. Some of these patients can develop a type of Non-Hodgkin B-cell aggressive lymphoma, a lymph node cancer.

The anti retroviral treatments most HIV positive patients are subjected to has improved a lot today. Presently, they are treated with a series of drugs destined to keep the disease under control, known as combined antiviral therapy or c-ART.

HIV positive patients who suffer from a Non-Hodgkin lymphoma are treated with an additional combination of chemotherapy drugs to treat the cancer. Up to now, there was not much information on the differences in recovery and survival between people with this kind of lymphoma who also have HIV and those who do not. Also, whether HIV positive patients should be treated for the lymphoma in the same way as negative ones is still under debate.

A research team at the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute (IJC) has studied the two groups of patients (ones HIV positive and the others HIV free) who received the same combined chemotherapy for B-cell aggressive lymphoma. The results of this study have just been published in the international magazine AIDS.

This study, carried out using samples from patients in various Spanish hospitals, was directed by Dr Maia Joao Baptista, from the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Institute (IJC), who works in the centre’s research group dedicated to lymphoid neoplasms directed by Dr José Tomás Navarro.

Dr Baptista said: “it is important to carry out this type of studies so as to find out exactly how efficient the treatment for the lymphoma of HIV positive patients is, and how to keep them healthy longer. In fewer words, when people are taking drug combinations it is essential to know the benefits outweigh the side effects”.

This study shows that, although the lymphoma is usually more aggressive in people infected with HIV, the results regarding recovery are the same as in people who do not have the HIV virus. This proves that patients infected with HIV have the same survival possibilities when suffering from the Non-Hodgkin lymphoma as those who are HIV negative.

In spite of this, the investigation also concludes that these patients’ global survival time is shorter, despite being free from the lymphoma, than HIV negative patients. This is due to the fact that, although they overcome the lymphoma, patients infected with HIV tend to have complications or other neoplasms related to HIV. Like in all patients, an early diagnosis is essential. Also, for HIV infected patients, prevention of complications related to the virus is essential to improve their possibilities in their fight against cancer.

+ Info:

AIDS magazine

IJC Lymphoid neoplasms group

Maria Joao Baptista

Dr Tomás Navarro

Webpage updated 08/12/2016 12:12:47