Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2014 - Volume 36 - Issue 2 > Malignancies in South African Children With HIV
Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology:
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e31829cdd49
Original Articles

Malignancies in South African Children With HIV

Davidson, Alan MD, MPhil; Wainwright, Rosalinda D. MD; Stones, David K. MD; Kruger, Mariana MD, PhD; Hendricks, Marc MD; Geel, Jennifer MD; Poole, Janet MD; Reynders, David MD; Omar, Fareed MD; Mathew, Rema MD; Stefan, D. Cristina MD, PhD

Collapse Box


Objectives: In 2008 the South African Children’s Cancer Study Group decided to review the epidemiology, management, and chemotherapy response of HIV-positive children with malignancy.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of data collected from the records of HIV-positive children diagnosed with malignancy at 7 university-based pediatric oncology units serving 8 of the 9 provinces in South Africa.

Results: Two hundred eighty-eight HIV-positive children were diagnosed with 289 malignancies between 1995 and 2009. Age at diagnosis ranged from 17 days to 18.64 years; median 5.79 years. Of the 220 HIV-associated malignancies, there were 97 Kaposi sarcomas, 61 Burkitt lymphomas, 47 other B-cell lymphomas including 2 primary central nervous system lymphomas, 12 Hodgkin lymphomas, and 3 leiomyosarcomas. Sixty-nine patients presented with non–AIDS-defining malignancies. More than 80% presented with advanced disease. Most patients (76.7%) were naive to antiretroviral therapy; 22.2% did not have access because it only became available in public hospitals in 2004. One hundred ninety-seven children were treated with curative intent; 91 received palliative care due to advanced malignancy and/or advanced HIV disease. Nearly one third had coexisting pathology, mostly tuberculosis. Overall survival for the whole group was 33.7%, but was 57.8% for those treated with antiretroviral therapy and chemotherapy.

Conclusions: The study shows more Kaposi sarcoma and fewer primary central nervous system lymphomas among HIV-positive children than that is reported in the developed world, but confirms a higher incidence of non-Burkitt B-cell lymphoma than in HIV-negative children. The high number of non–AIDS-defining malignancies underscores the prevalence of HIV-AIDS in South Africa. The overall survival should improve with universal access to antiretrovirals and earlier diagnosis.

Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.

Connect With Us


For additional oncology content, visit LWW Oncology Journals on Facebook.