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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

Radiation Therapy in Patients With AIDS-Related Central Nervous System"


Journal of the American Medical Association (04/08/92) Vol. 267, No. 14,

Radiation therapy plays a key role in palliation of AIDS-related non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), write Lourdes Z. Nisce et al. of the New York Hospital--Cornell Medical Center. Between June 1987 and December 1991 the Radiation Oncology Center at the New York Hospital--Cornell Medical Center used brain irradiation to treat 25 men with AIDS-related central nervous system (CNS) NHL. Virtually all were receiving antiretroviral therapy, and all had negative toxoplasmosis serological results and/or failed a therapeutic antibiotic trial. They were then referred for radiation therapy. The whole brain was treated with a total dose ranging from 30 to 40 Gy over 3 to 4 weeks. No subject who responded to treatment had recurrence of the neurological dysfunction. Side effects were minimal and temporary and were limited to skin erythema and alcopecia. The mean survival rate in patients with untreated AIDS-related CNS NHL is less than 2 months. But Nisce et al. conclude that by using radiation their 4-month survival rate rises to 68 percent with a mean survival time of 4.8 months.


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