BACKGROUND. Patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)-associated lymphoma/leukemia have a poor prognosis and are frequently treated with low-intensity therapy. The authors investigated the feasibility and efficacy of hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide, vincristine, doxorubicin, and dexamethasone (hyper-CVAD), a dose-intensive chemotherapy regimen, in patients with AIDS-associated Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia, as well as the possible impact of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in these patients. METHODS. Thirteen patients with AIDS-associated Burkitt lymphoma (six patients) or leukemia (acute lymphoblastic leukemia; seven patients) were treated with hyper-CVAD alternating with high-dose methotrexate and ara-C for a total of eight cycles. Nine patients received HAART from the start of induction chemotherapy (seven patients) or later in the course of chemotherapy (two patients). The median patient age was 43 years (range, 32-55). Nine patients were diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection at the time of diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia; the other 4 patients had been diagnosed with HIV infection for a median of 37 months (range, 18-137) prior to the diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia. The median absolute CD4 count from the 9 patients with evaluable counts was 77 cells/μL (range, 9-544); only one patient had a count > 200/μL. RESULTS. Twelve patients (92%) achieved a complete remission (CR) and one achieved a partial response (PR). Eight patients continued in CR after a median of 31 months (range, 7-45) at the time of writing. Five patients were alive and in CR over two years later. The median survival was 12 months, with 48% of patients alive after 2 years. Six of seven patients who received HAART from the start of chemotherapy were alive and in CR after a median of 29 months (range, 7-45). The four patients who did not receive HAART died. The regimen was universally myelosuppressive, but the toxicity profiles, recoveries from myelosuppression, and incidences of infectious complications were similar to that of non-HIV patients with Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia treated with the same regimen. CONCLUSIONS. Hyper-CVAD is an effective regimen for patients with AIDS-associated Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia, with acceptable toxicity. The combination of hyper-CVAD and HAART is associated with long-term survival in patients with the two diseases, which, until recently, were both considered invariably fatal and almost futile to treat medically.
- Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
- And dexamethasone (hyper-CVAD)
- Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia
- Highly active antiretroviral therapy
- Hyperfractionated cyclophosphamide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research