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Systemic hyperthermia in the treatment of HIV-related disseminated Kaposi's sarcoma. Long-term follow-up of patients treated with low-flow extracorporeal perfusion hyperthermia

, : Systemic hyperthermia in the treatment of HIV-related disseminated Kaposi's sarcoma. Long-term follow-up of patients treated with low-flow extracorporeal perfusion hyperthermia. American Journal of Clinical Oncology 17(4): 353-359

Treatment of HIV and related malignancies with pharmacologic and biologic agents has not appreciably modified the course of disease. Immunologic impairment remains the critical factor in response. We report the long-term results of a single session of low-flow (0.3 L/min) extracorporeal perfusion hyperthermia on 29 men and 2 women with disseminated Kaposi's sarcoma and profound immunologic impairment. Any antiretroviral drug employed by the patient was stopped 72 hours prior to treatment and withheld during the period of follow-up. Core temperature was raised to 42 degree C and held for 1 hour with extracorporeal perfusion and ex vivo blood heating to 49 degree C as the means of temperature control. Of 31 patients, 2 died of complications secondary to treatment (cardiac arrhythmia; CNS bleed). There were two cases of intravascular coagulopathy. Pressure point skin damage may occur despite adequate cushioning. At 30 days posttreatment complete or partial regressions were seen in 20/29 of those treated, with regressions persisting in 14/29 of those treated by 120 days posttreatment. At 360 days, 4/ 29 maintain tumor regressions with 1 in complete remission (at 26 months). The patient in complete remission remains culture-negative and PCR-negative for HIV. CD4+ counts rose from around 250 to, and remain around, 800 in this man. Selected healed lesions were biopsied to demonstrate tumor absence. Patients were selected for treatment if pretreatment testing of the tumor showed regression in vitro with heat exposure. Analysis of the early and midterm failures showed little sustained rise of the CD4+ cells if presenting total CD4+ counts were below 50 and had been at such low levels for extended periods, although other surrogate markers of HIV activity declined (semiquantitative PCR) during this period and is felt to support the hypothesis of apoptosis proposed in this illness. Analysis of the tumors of the few men not responding demonstrated elevated levels of IL-6 as compared to responders (12 vs lt 1 pg/ml). At 120 days 29/31 patients remained alive (expected, 20). At 360 days, 21/31 remained alive (expected, 11). In no patient was HIV activity stimulated with heat exposure. CMV retinitis did clear in some patients treated (both techniques), but treatment alone did not prevent later development of retinopathy. EBV parameters were markedly altered in the short term with heat exposure in some patients. Few patients showed herpes simplex activation. Varicella-zoster virus remitted in some patients. There is utility in the use of systemic hyperthermia to control HIV and related malignancy. Further study of agents potentiated by heat is indicated.


PMID: 7914057

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