Gamma;-herpesvirus load as surrogate marker of early death in HIV-1 lymphoma patients submitted to high dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation

Chiara Pratesi, Stefania Zanussi, Rosamaria Tedeschi, Maria Teresa Bortolin, Renato Talamini, Maurizio Rupolo, Chiara Scaini, Giancarlo Basaglia, Matteo Di Maso, Mario Mazzucato, Ernesto Zanet, Umberto Tirelli, Mariagrazia Michieli, Antonino Carbone, Paolo De Paoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) is a feasible procedure for human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) lymphoma patients, whose underlying disease and intrinsic HIV-1-and ASCT-associated immunodeficiency might increase the risk for γ-herpesvirus load persistence and/or reactivation. We evaluated this hypothesis by investigating the levels of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)- and Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-DNA levels in the peripheral blood of 22 HIV-1-associated lymphoma patients during ASCT, highlighting their relationship with γ-herpesvirus lymphoma status, immunological parameters, and clinical events. EBV-DNA was detected in the pre-treatment plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of 12 (median 12135 copies/mL) and 18 patients (median 417 copies/106 PBMCs), respectively; the values in the two compartments were correlated (r = 0.77, p = 0.0001). Only EBV-positive lymphomas showed detectable levels of plasma EBV-DNA. After debulking chemotherapy, plasma EBV-DNA was associated with lymphoma chemosensitivity (p = 0.03) and a significant higher mortality risk by multivariate Cox analysis adjusted for EBV-lymphoma status (HR, 10.46, 95% CI, 1.11-98.32, p = 0.04). After infusion, EBV-DNA was detectable in five EBV-positive lymphoma patients who died within six months. KSHV-DNA load was positive in only one patient, who died from primary effusion lymphoma. Fluctuations in levels of KSHV-DNA reflected the patient's therapy and evolution of his underlying lymphoma. Other γ-herpesvirus-associated malignancies, such as multicentric Castleman disease and Kaposi sarcoma, or end-organ complications after salvage treatment were not found. Overall, these findings suggest a prognostic and predictive value of EBV-DNA and KSHV-DNA, the monitoring of which could be a simple, complementary tool for the management of γ-herpesvirus-positive lymphomas in HIV-1 patients submitted to ASCT.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0116887
JournalPLoS One
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 10 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Gamma;-herpesvirus load as surrogate marker of early death in HIV-1 lymphoma patients submitted to high dose chemotherapy and autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this