Staying on HIV meds during treatment for lymphoma increases your chance of surviving the cancer, reports a small study in the April 1 issue of the journal Cancer. Before HIV combo therapy was around to boost immunity and permit aggressive chemotherapy, non-Hodgkins lymphoma was a frequent cause of AIDS-related death. Now, while rates of the cancer among positive people have remained around 4% (risk is not linked to T-cell count), it has become more treatable. By 2003, the survival rate for positive people reached 60% (up from 20–40%, depending on the type of tumor). The Cancer study found that those who took HIV combos during chemo saw remission and survival rates climb to 79%, a figure comparable to that of negative people. It also found that HIV meds don’t significantly worsen chemo side effects. OK, we’ll take it.
The Topic of Cancer
May 1, 2006 • By Laura Whitehorn