CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update Radiation Therapy in Patients With AIDS-Related Central Nervous System"
Nisce, Lourdes Z. et al.
April 8, 1992
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.