HIV+ with Multiple Myeloma

Question

What can you tell me about any relationship between hiv and multiple myeloma? I saw an article in POZ that indicated a relationship. My background...positive for 8 years without any meds. At the time of multiple myeloma diagnosis my cd4 was 199 and viral load 4000. Also the protein levels in a blood test appeared normal according to my doctor that should have indicated the cancer. I've suffered from a tumor in my spinal column which was radiated and later surgically removed. I am currently receiving brain radiation for several tumors found and will eventually start chemotherapy. I have started taking zerit/epivir/ziagen. My CD4 was up to 299 after 1 month and viral load up to 10000. Again is there a relationship? How effective is chemotherapy treatment? Thanks

Answer

There is indeed a relationship between multiple myeloma and HIV. HIV stimulates the immune system. When the immune system is stimulated, it can on occasion take off in a cancerous fashion. Myeloma is a cancer of the cell that produces antibodies. Chemotherapy for myeloma is VERY effective; I would suggest it if your cancer doctor thinks its warranted. I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend that you stay on your anti-retroviral medications. Although I do not wish to give you any false hope, I do have at least one patient in my practice whose myeloma completely disappeared after she started potent anti-retroviral therapy without any chemotherapy. From the description of your case, I do indeed think that chemotherapy is warranted.