Treatment of AIDS-related primary central nervous system lymphoma with zidovudine, ganciclovir, and interleukin 2

Luis Raez, Lisa Cabral, Jian Ping Cai, Howard Landy, George Sfakianakis, Gerald E. Byrne, Judith Hurley, Ernesto Scerpella, Dushyantha Jayaweera, William J. Harrington

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71 Scopus citations


AIDS-related primary central nervous system lymphoma (AIDS PCNSL) is a rapidly fatal disease. Conventional therapeutic modalities offer little and new approaches are needed. Previous work has shown that zidovudine (AZT) in combination with other agents is active in retroviral lymphomas. Epstein- Barr virus (EBV) is detected in tumor tissue and cerebrospinal fluid of AIDS PCNSL patients. In a preliminary in vitro study we found that an Epstein- Barr virus-positive B cell line underwent apoptosis on coculture with AZT. This effect was accentuated by the addition of ganciclovir (GCV). We treated five patients with AIDS PCNSL with a regimen consisting of parenteral zidovudine (1.6 g twice daily), ganciclovir (5 mg/kg twice daily), and interleukin 2 (2 million units twice daily). Four of five had an excellent response. Two patients are alive and free of disease 22 and 13 months later; another responded on two separate occasions, 5 months apart, and the last patient responded with a 70-80% regression of tumor but could not be maintained on therapy owing to myelosuppression. We conclude that parenteral zidovudine, ganciclovir, and interleukin 2 is an active combination for AIDS- related central nervous system lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-719
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number8
StatePublished - May 20 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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