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lymphoma- is stem-cell transplantation
May 2, 2001

Can someone with HIV related Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma receive stem-cell transplantation? My brother's counts are not doing well and I need help. He's on Rituxin right now and currently started his HIV medications.

Response from Dr. Dezube

Stem cell transplantation, essentially a new and improved version of bone marrow transplantation, is indeed possible for patients with HIV-related lymphoma. It should not be taken lightly. It's reserved for patients whose tumors relapsed after their first course of chemotherapy. I would not recommend it unless two conditions can be met

1) The patient's HIV viral load must be under decent control with anti-reroviral drugs. 2) The patient's lymphoma is first controlled by salvage chemotherapy, i.e. the patient needs to be rendered almost disease free prior to the transplantation.

About 20 or so HIV patients with relapsed lymphoma have been reported to date. Some did well. Alot will depend upon your brother's overall health status and whether his tumor still responds to therapy.

Lastly, not all transplants are the same. Some centers do full stem cell transplants, others do mini-transplants (also known as transplant lite).


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