South African Medical Journal

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Kaposi's sarcoma after alpha-interferon treatment for HIV-negative T-cell lymphoma

S Ariad, D Lewis, W.R. Bezwoda


54-year-old HIV-negative patient suffering from T -cell lymphoma of Lennert's lymphoma (Lel) type was treated for 13 months with interferon α-2b. While on treatment with interferon the patient demonstrated suppression of total and CD4+ lymphocytes to levels < 0,5 and 0,2 x 109/1, respectively. Although interferon was successful in controlling the lymphoma the clinical course was complicated by the rapid development of aggressive, fatal Kaposi's sarcoma shortly after cessation of interferon treatment.

It is suggested that the immunosuppressive effect of interferon therapy (or the T -cell lymphoma or both) may have played a role in the development of Kaposi's sarcoma as a second malignancy.

AJOL African Journals Online