European researchers Dr. Jose L. Diez-Martin of Hospital General Universidad Gregorio Maranon, Madrid, Spain, and colleagues claimed that HIV-positive people with high-grade lymphoma can be treated safely and effectively by autologous stem cell transplantation(ASCT). They have published their findings in a March 30th advance on-line publication in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers also indicate that the result of stem cell transplant on the HIV related patients were similar to those in HIV-negative patients.

Researchers found that high-dose chemotherapy followed by ASCT is the therapy of choice in HIV-negative patients with relapsed or partially responding lymphoma. This may also be the case in HIV-positive patients, and the researchers sought to gain further evidence.

At 12 month of ASCT, after examining the data of 68 HIV-related lymphoma patients( 50- non Hodgkin and 18 Hodgkin) , who had gone through the treatment since 1999 in 20 different institutions, researchers noted that the cumulative incidence of non-relapse mortality, mainly due to bacterial infections, was 7.5%. Relapse or regression was seen in 20 patients over a median interval of 4.1 months from ASCT. The cumulative incidence of relapse at 24 months was 30.4%. And after 32 months the overall progression free survival rate was 56%.

Lymphoma is a general term for a group of cancers that originate in the lymphatic system. The lymphomas are divided into two major categories: Hodgkin lymphoma and all other lymphomas, called non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). About 53 percent of the blood cancers that occur each year are lymphoma.

About 74,340 Americans had been diagnosed with lymphoma in 2008. This figure includes approximately 8,220 new cases of Hodgkin lymphoma (4,400 males and 3,820 females), and 66,120 new cases of NHL (35,450 males and 30,670 females).

Source: Reuters