Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine


Stem Cell Transplantation for HIV-Related Lymphoma

Shannon Smith and Vincent S. Gallicchio

Blood malignancies in HIV-infected individuals are the number one cause of mortality due to cancer in the HIV community. Thus, the virus is no longer illing people, it is cancer, specifically lymphoma, which is accounting for the majority of mortality cases. The major lymphomas found in HIV-infected individuals include non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Diffuse Large B Cell lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. One treatment strategy to treat these malignant diseases is through the use of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is effective at keeping cancer manageable for this cohort of  atients; however, to date it has not demonstrated to be effective at eradicating the cancers. Autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation has been demonstrated to be the most effective treatment method for blood malignancies in HIV-infected patients, to date. In combination with hemotherapy, autologous stem cell transplantation is a highly effective protocol to achieve full remission. Further investigations need to be conducted in order to emonstrate if stem cell transplantation can help reduce the latent viral load in immune cells while simultaneously eliminating cancerous cells. Currently, research shows the viral load is neither increased nor decreased due to autologous peripheral stem cell transplantation. 

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