Clinical characteristics of human immunodeficiency virus-associated Hodgkin lymphoma patients in Japan
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The incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is paradoxically increasing in the combination anti-retroviral therapy (cART) era. However, there has been no nationwide survey of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated HL (HIV-HL) in Japan. We retrospectively examined the clinical characteristics and outcomes of 19 newly diagnosed HIV-HL patients at 11 HIV/AIDS and hematology regional hospitals in Japan between 1991 and 2010. At the time of HL diagnosis, 79 % of patients were receiving cART. All the patients, but one received HL diagnoses in the cART era. The median CD4+ cell count at HIV-HL diagnosis was 169/μl. Mixed-cellularity classical Hodgkin lymphoma was the most common subtype occurring in 68 % of the patients; 89 % of the patients were positive for Epstein–Barr virus. Of these 19 patients, 84 % were in advanced stages, with bone marrow involvement observed in 47 % of the patients; 58 % had extranodal sites. All the treated patients were given cART concurrent with HL therapy. The complete remission rate of the treated patients was 87 %. The median OS of the entire cohort was 17 months. These results suggest that the characteristics of HIV-HL in Japan are more aggressive than those of non-HIV-associated HL in Japan, but standard chemotherapy is effective and feasible.