Aids-related non-hodgkin's lymphoma: The outcome and efficacy of radiation therapy

Theodore L. Deweese, Mark B. Hazuka, Daniel J. Hommel, Jeannie J. Kinzie, William E. Daniel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The records of all 16 patients with AIDS-related lymphoma treated with radiation therapy at our institutions were reviewed. All patients were male with a median age of 32 years, and all but one had biopsy proven high-grade NHL. Eleven had lymphoma involving the central nervous system and five had lymphoma involving other sites. Seven of the 11 patients with CNS involvement had primary CNS lymphoma. All patients were treated with megavoltage X rays to doses ranging from 1050 cGy in 12 weeks to 5037 cGy in 6 weeks. Of those patients with CNS lymphoma, only one responded completely and four responded partially to irradiation. All patients died within a range of 0.2 to 5.3 months (median survival = 2.2 months) from starting radiation therapy. In contrast, 3 of 5 patients (60%) with NHL outside the CNS responded completely and 1 responded partially to involved-field irradiation. These patients survived a median of 12.6 months with one achieving long-term lymphoma-free survival at 40 months. This long-term survivor presented with Stage IE lymphoma as his only manifestation of AIDS. We conclude that AIDS-related lymphomas respond less favorably to radiation therapy than lymphomas in non-immunosuppressed patients. Furthermore, CNS lymphomatous involvement is an ominous occurrence in the AIDS patient. In our experience, cranial irradiation failed to provide significant palliation or survival prolongation in this group of patients. Instead, long-term survival is possible in AIDS patients with limited NHL outside the CNS, and it is in these patients that combination chemotherapy plus involved-field radiation therapy may play a curative role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-808
Number of pages6
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Lymphoma
  • Radiation therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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