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Combo Therapy-Lymphoma and HIV
Jul 1, 2004

I have just been diagnosed with both Burkitt's Lymphoma and HIV. I have just completed the first round of a Hyper-CVAD chemo course as an inpatient and waiting for my numbers to come back up (Plates=15, WBC=0.8, H/H= 8/19) before i go home for a few weeks. My current CD4 (Tcell count) is 16 with a viral load of 93,000+. There is obviously some question as to wether the HIV or lymphoma alone is effecting those numbers. The ID consults want to pursue an aggressive HIV course of treatmentm my oncologist wants to wait and focus on the cancer. I have been told that I might need to find an ID group that is more experienced in both Lymphoma and HIV combo therapies here in Tampa. Do you have any experience in this arena? Do you know where i can find resources about combo therapy? or Do you know where i can find second opinions from IDs who have known exposure to treating HIV in aggressive lymphoma patients? Any help is greatful, I am an RN myself, so feel free to speak on any level convenient to you.

Response from Dr. Pierone

I agree with the ID consultants that combination therapy is definitely the way to go. You should be treated for HIV and lymphoma concurrently. The immune reconstitution effected by HIV medications can only help with the lymphoma. Just avoid bone marrow suppressive HIV medications (AZT) and medications with nerve toxicity (Zerit, Videx).

There are some very seasoned HIV treating doctors in Tampa that would have experience with your situation and would be able to guide you through the treatment. The AAHIVM web site link can get you the number to reach them. Best of luck and let me know if you hit a brick wall.



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