Objective: To evaluate the evolving characteristics of HIV-related Hodgkin's lymphoma (HL) and survival of affected patients since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Design and methods: A retrospective single-institution study was performed over a 15-year follow-up period. For statistical analysis, patients were categorized into a pre-HAART period (1987–1996, n = 61) and a post-HAART period (1997–2001, n = 47).
Results: HL characteristics were similar in both groups. The chemotherapy regimens used did not differ significantly, although the MOPP/ABV regimen (mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine substituted by cyclophosphamide since 2000, and prednisone /adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastin) has progressively replaced the ABVD regimen (adriamycin, bleomycin, vinblastin, dacarbazine). A slight increase in the complete response rate was noted in the post-HAART population (74.5%) versus the pre-HAART population (64.5%), and the probability to relapse was not different between the two groups. Patients diagnosed since 1997 had a higher probability for prolonged survival with a median survival time not reached versus 19 months in the pre-HAART period. The estimate 2-year survival probability was 45% [95% confidence interval (CI), 32.3–57.8% in the pre-HAART period, and 62% (95% CI, 46.7–77.1%) in the post-HAART period (P = 0.03). This decreased mortality was associated with a decrease in AIDS-associated deaths. In the post-HAART period, 12 patients were naive to any antiretroviral therapy and 31 were already on HAART at the time of HL diagnosis. Twenty of them had a plasma HIV-RNA below 500 copies/ml. The response rate and the overall survival were not statistically different in these patients.
Conclusions: HL still occurs in patients with HAART-induced HIV suppression. However, overall survival has significantly improved since the introduction of HAART.