Hodgkin's disease in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus: Frequency, presentation and clinical outcome

A. M. Tsimberidou, A. H. Sarris*, L. J. Medeiros, O. Mesina, M. A. Rodriguez, F. B. Hagemeister, J. Romaguera, B. Pro, P. McLaughlin, N. Dang, F. Cabanillas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We report the frequency, presenting characteristics, progression-free survival, event-free survival, overall survival and AIDS-free survival of patients with previously untreated Hodgkin's disease (HD) in the setting of infection by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). To accomplish this we retrospectively reviewed all untreated patients presenting to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center between July 1985 and August 1999 with HD and HIV infection. All available records were reviewed to determine presentation, clinical characteristics, treatment outcome, progression-free survival and overall survival. We identified 887 patients with HD and 3,500 with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL). The ratio of NHL to HD in HIV-negative versus HIV-positive patients was 3.9 versus 6.9, respectively. There were 14 HIV-positive patients with HD and 97 with NHL. The median age of the HIV-positive HD patients was 33 years, and 13 were male. Three patients had Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome (AIDS) at the time of HD diagnosis, and seven had B-symptoms. Ann Arbor stage was I in one, II in three, III in four and IV in six patients. Mixed cellularity histology was seen in eight, bone marrow involvement in five and extranodal disease in seven patients. Four patients had elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase, three low serum albumin, and nine elevated serum β2-microglobulin, The median CD4 count was 160/μl. Eleven patients received ABVD or equivalent regimens, followed by radiotherapy in five. One patient was treated with COPP and radiotherapy, one with NOVP and radiotherapy and one only with radiotherapy. All patients received some antiretroviral therapy, but it was variable over the years. With a median follow-up of 64 months for survivors, the projected 5-year progression-free survival was 64%, event-free survival 45%, overall survival 54% and AIDS-free survival 45%. Six patients died of complications arising from HIV infection, including one patient who had preexisting AIDS at HD presentation. Two patients died of HD, without developing other conditions diagnostic of AIDS. We conclude that in our referral patient population HIV infection is associated with preferential development of NHL rather than HD, which appears curable with standard treatment regimens. Since HIV-related deaths exceed those caused by HD, future investigation should focus on integration of chemotherapy and highly active antiretroviral therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-544
Number of pages10
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2001


  • AIDS
  • HIV infection
  • Hodgkin's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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