Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma- a double whammy


My father 76, Greek, living in Athens was diagnosed with NHL in May 2002. He had 7 CHOP (a type of chemotherapy) and 1 chemo for Hodgkins (the second one because they errownesly thought it was Hodgkins) . The last CHOP was 2-3 months ago. 25 days later blood and scan showed nothing but the situation dramatically changed in 2 weeks. Swelling lymph nodes down in belly and upper part of left foot. He also developed HIV negative Kaposi's sarcoma. One doctor in the hospital where he entered with fever 15 days ago told us that chemotherapy would not work. She is not his doctor, she only saw him in hospital. My father seems so full of life , I cannot believe we can do nothing about him. Please tell me doctor what should I do? We made the treatments in the most specialised center in Greece. Thank you if you answer me. Excuse my english


I'm sorry to hear about your Dad. It's hard enough having lymphoma or Kaposi's sarcoma, but to have both is even more difficult. It turns out that this combination of cancers is not all that uncommon. The lymphoma is more worrisome and more life-threatening. From what I can tell from your query, it sounds like his lymphoma has been treated. It turns out the the P (prednisone) in the CHOP chemotherapy regimen can make Kaposi's worse. It was important, however, that your father received the P in the CHOP regimen, for without it, he would not survive his lymphoma. But because of the prednisone, many lymphoma survivors go on to develop Kaposi's sarcoma. The treatment for Kaposi's sarcoma would most likely be liposomal chemotherapy, a special type of chemotherapy which is quite effective and not all that toxic. I would recommend that he receive such chemotherapy. There are agents available in the United States-- Doxil (also known as Caelyx) and DaunoXome. I obviously can't be sure of what's available in Greece. Good luck with your Dad. You sound like a supportive child!