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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)